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"A new, must-read book that tells the poignant, impactful story of Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem, the first-ever charter school to open in New York...."

“A compelling, dynamic tale of how to create great schools. If you’re a parent or teacher who cares about educating our children, this is a book you cannot afford to miss.” —David A. Vise, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Bureau and the Mole and The Google Story



“A must-read for anyone who cares about improving our educational system. Mary Bounds has researched and written an important story detailing the tenacious process required to establish charter schools in New York. It is a well-told narrative about launching a successful program that can enrich the education of every child in America.” —George E. Pataki, former governor of New York



“Each school has its own story, but few are chronicled as honestly, openly, and passionately as in this engaging volume. You will learn to love this school built with the same passion that inspired those who walked with Dr. Martin Luther King.” —Professor Paul E. Peterson, director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University and author of Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning

A Light Shines in Harlem is "a wonderful tribute to Sisulu-Walker..."—President Bill Clinton


Publishers Weekly

One of ten non-fiction books recommended on Publishers Weekly’s “Notable African-American Interest Titles, Fall 2014-Spring 2015” 


The New York Times

 “A Light Shines in Harlem by Mary C. Bounds is an accomplished journalist’s microcosmic retrospective on the Sisulu-Walker Charter School…So much about quality education seems like common sense, but thanks to Ms. Bounds for reminding us…Exploring ‘the hundreds of small decisions and big risks that go into creating and leading a school, not the generalities of textbooks and manifestoes,’ Ms. Bounds encapsulates solutions.”—Sam Roberts


The Harvard Kennedy School’s Education Next journal

"From this book one learns how difficult and complicated it is to open a charter school." —Nathan Glazer, professor emeritus of education and sociology at Harvard University


The Huffington Post

“A Light Shines in Harlem tracks the tenacity and heroism of a few of the reform movement's earliest and lesser known pioneers, in standing up to those who refused to give up their power to allow new lights to shine, no matter how successful they were.”—Jeanne Allen


The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal

“At its heart, A Light Shines is the story of an unlikely partnership between a Wall Street hotshot and a Harlem minister, the little-school-that-could they created together on 115th Street, and the path that they’ve charted for educational equity in New York—and across the nation.—Charles Upton Sahm


The Harvard University Kennedy School’s Education Next journal

One of seven books that landed on Education Next”s “Education Books Make Great Gifts”


The Center for Education Reform Newswire

“A new, must-read book that tells the poignant, impactful story of Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem, the first-ever charter school to open in New York.”

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