"Society will draw a circle that shuts me out, but my superior thoughts will draw me in. I was born to win if I do not spend too much time trying to fail. I will ignore the tags and names given me by society since only I know what I have the ability to become.
Failure is just as easy to combat as success is to obtain. Education is painful and not gained by playing games. Yet it is my privilege to destroy myself if that is what I choose to do. I have the right to fail, but I do not have the right to take other people with me.
It is my right to care nothing about myself, but I must be willing to accept the consequences for that failure, and I must never think that those who have chosen to work, while I played, rested and slept, will share their bounties with me.
My success and my education can be companions that no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, and no enemy can alienate. Without education, man is a slave, a savage wandering from here to there believing whatever he is told.
Time and chance come to us all. I can be either hesitant or courageous. I can swiftly stand up and shout: "This is my time and my place. I will accept the challenge."
Revue de presse
—Alex Haley, author of ROOTS
"Collins' unswerving faith in the abilities of her students and her 'tough love' approach are inspirational."
"Marva Collins has something to say to the nation's educators and anyone else interested in the education of children. It's refreshing to read about an educator's abiding belief in her students and to watch--through the pages of her book--as she turns hopeless, hostile youngsters into eager and ambitious achievers."
—The Detroit Free Press
"This is the book that motivated me to become a teacher and demonstrates the power that teachers and other role models can have on shaping the lives of children. Marva Collins is an inspiration and this book should be required reading for anyone interested in education."
—The Uncomfortable Optimist
"The success of Marva’s method has been astounding. Anyone who is teaching, who is considering teaching, anyone who is homeschooling, or who simply loves children, will find this book fascinating."
—The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)
"This gifted dynamo of a teacher told the students in her first private, one-room Westside Preparatory School: ''I'm your friend and I'm going to help you all the time and I'm going to love you all the time. I love you already and I'm going to love you even when you don't love yourself.'' Her method: to convince the children she cares; that they can trust her; that they can accomplish anything they want to; that learning to read is hard work but they will learn. Her promise: ''I will not allow you to fail.'' Nothing can lessen the reader's admiration for a brave, brilliant woman who dares to believe in children when no one else will."
—Christian Science Monitor
"The Collins charisma makes for lively reading."
"This book is a continuous inspiration to us showing how only one person’s deep love and unwavering belief in her students’ abilities made a world of difference in their lives."
—Heart of Inspiration
"At its best it may influence you, in whatever role you have with children or education, to raise the standards and to stand up to a failing system in whatever way is applicable in your life."
—The Thinking Mother