The Road Out: A Teacher's Odyssey Into Poor America, by Deborah Hicks
Book cover image of The Road Out: A Teacher's Odyssey In Poor America

The Road Out: A Teacher’s Odyssey In Poor America

One of Stephen King's “Best Books I Read In 2012”

“A wrenching account of one woman’s attempt to show a group of at-risk preteen girls that literature can offer them a better life...”

- Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

Written By

Deborah Hicks

Author and Educator

Deborah was raised in a small town in the North Carolina mountains. Educated in public schools, she later earned her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has been a teacher and writer for over two decades, focusing on the lives of children in poor and working-class America. Deborah is also the founding director of PAGE, a partnership supporting education for girls and young women in Appalachia. She lives in Chapel Hill and, for part of each year, in Spring Creek – a rural mountain community in Madison County, North Carolina.

Headshot of Deborah Hicks, Author of The Road Out

Praise for The Road Out:

"The Road Out is vital and enriching. I think it's an important book that should be required reading for every American who's concerned with education of the poorest and most forgotten in our society. The stories [in this book] filled me with outrage and sorrow. But there's hope here, as well, and with more teachers like Deborah Hicks, perhaps that ray of hope will grow to a beam...and then to a flood."

Stephen King
Author, Screenwriter, Director

"A wrenching, extraordinary tale. The Road Out is not a story of victims, but a story of passion and literacy. With abundant authority and vulnerability, Hicks uncovers unexpected insights and offers new ways to bring a love of reading along with some hope into the far corners of urban lives on the margins."

Carol Stack
Author of All Our Kin and Call To Home

"I was one of those girls reading books the librarians hesitated to let me carry away, but taking from those books the resilience and strength necessary to change my life. Reading The Road Out, I was taken back to my own teenage years in the best way possible. From a place where hope seems almost impossible, we find more than hope—we find inspiration. Read this book, it is a cure for what I sometimes think is the only unforgivable sin—despair."

Dorothy Allison
Author of Bastard Out of Carolina

See the inner world of seven adolescent girls coming of age
in poverty, clinging to the hope of a better future.