I found this book to lean rather far to the disconnected and unbelievable side of things. As the mother of three boys, the youngest turning 13 soon, I found these 6th graders to be rather advanced - especially on their thoughts about sex. As to the racism issue, we never had issues anything at all like in the book in my son's schools so I can't speak to that. As a child in the 70's I never saw racism and especially never saw anything like what is depicted in the book in any of my schools. I found it difficult to believe that all of these events, and the changes, occurring during a single school day. It would have worked had it been over the course of several days. The story was lacking depth, believably, developed characters, and a plot thread that made sense.