"While Cross-X might have started out as a Rocky-like story of a team conquering great odds, it morphs into an important, thoughtful, and provocative look at race and class in America, celebrating the tiny—and triumphant—inroad that these kids made in their lives and in the world of debate."—Caroline Leavitt, The Boston Globe
"You don't need much imagination to see this book as a movie. It has all the ingredients to warm the hearts of an audience. Picture Stand and Deliver meets Hoosiers . . . Miller has written a big, sprawling book, with almost as many characters and philosophical asides as a 19th-century Russian novel. Not that it isn't exciting—the scenes describing Central in face-to-face showdowns with snotty private schools may have you leaping ahead to find out what happens. But despite the team's miraculous finish at the nationals, we shouldn't forget an important fact: In a truly free and equal society, it wouldn't seem to be a miracle when black kids succeed."—Howard Good, coordinator of the journalism program at the State University of New York at New Paltz, Teacher magazine
"[A] a rambunctious, irresistible 500-page doozy . . . Miller begins breezily but is soon deeply invested in the Central squad's mission to not only master the debate game on its own terms but revolutionize it with flashes of poetry and hip-hop wordplay. By the time it goes up against some of the best teams in the nation, the team has sparked a dialogue about race and class among still-open young minds. If all these kids could run thins, Miller implies, imagine what could get done."—Elle
"An engaging and descriptive account of the school's policy debate program and the outstanding students on its squad . . . Miller's account of the 2004-2005 season is a powerful element of his account of the Central squad, and this great Crusade to revolutionize an institution . . . An engaging account with a new, fresh angle on the state of the American educational system."—Maddy Joseph, Young D.C.
"[Cross-X] makes for a rare flowering in Kansas City, all the more powerful for what it says about all the other American high schools where hope is in short supply."—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
"Resolved: Joe Miller's new book on race, power and a Central High School debate squad that shocked its rivals by rapping arguments to hip-hop music may become a best-seller, land him on Oprah and inspire a movie . . . Through its pages, readers get an intimate and unblinking look at inspiring but far-from-perfect debaters Ebony, Antoine, Marcus and Brandon as they struggle, study and succeed."—The Kansas City Star
"In his exceptional new book, Cross-X, Joe Miller offers an unforgettable portrait of life on the 'wrong' side of our nation's school system and a passionate analysis of the forces that have combined to keep its students in the dark. His story of Central High's young debaters and their redoubtable teacher is heroic but never rose-colored—it will engulf readers as the world of debate has engulfed him."—Whitney Terrell, author of The King of Kings County and The Huntsman