Martin was sitting on the front stoop of his apartment building minding his own business when he was arrested for something he didn?t even mean to do. Five months later, he?s still locked up on Rikers Island, in a New York City jail. Just when it seems things couldn?t get much worse, Martin is caught between two warring prisoners, and his face is slashed. Now he?ll be forever marked with a prison scar. One good thing comes from the attack: Martin is transferred to a different part of Rikers where inmates are required to attend high school. If Martin opens up to a teacher who really seems to care, perhaps he?ll learn a lesson more valuable than any taught in class.
An award-winning author, Paul Volponi is uniquely qualified to tell Martin?s story because he taught on Rikers Island for six years. He originally wrote Rikers for an adult audience. The book has been revised for young adults and is being republished as Rikers High.
Paul Volponi is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novel Black & White. From 1992 to 1998, he taught adolescents on Rikers Island in New York City to read and write. Mr. Volponi worked at a day treatment center like Daytop teaching students and helping them prepare for the GED. Mr. Volponi lives in New York City.