The Book

In inner-city New York, horrors lurk in the unruly hallways of Malcolm High School. As in-school riots and gang violence consistently envelop the classroom, Olivia Dalton attempts to teach her students while simultaneously directing a drop-out prevention program that embraces an ever-increasing group of at-risk students. Left with little hope she will ever have children of her own, Olivia becomes entrenched in her students’ lives, partly out of love, but also out of an unconscious desire to avoid her own internal anguish.

Meanwhile, Olivia’s devoted husband, Tom, is having trouble facing his own disappointments in not being able to create a family. In an effort to protect Olivia, he attempts to hold her back from the one place she feels useful and fulfilled—her career. But despite her husband’s efforts to quell her desire to help the troubled and confused, Olivia presses on and believes in change, even in the face of her students’ continual mistakes and poor choices. Neither Tom nor Olivia have any idea that everything is about to change when an unassuming gift is left at their door.

Shades of Gray is the profound story of one woman’s unpredictable journey to the truth, new beginnings, and a kind of love she never knew before.

Reading Group Discussions

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Shades of Gray

Susanne Jacoby-Hale


Loved the book and the story! I could feel what the teacher and the students were struggling with. Enjoyed the strong bond Olivia had with the students.

Lori, Goodreads

One star was a gross error. A fabulous read,a high recommendation. Please do yourself a favor and read this engrossing book.

Gus Leodas, 5 Stars

She is every bit as wonderful as her book. Ms. Hale knocked it “out of the park” with her spot on description of the issues facing our schools and at-risks kids.

Rocky, Goodreads

Shades of Gray is an amazing novel. Hale addresses so many compelling issues, all wrapped up in a wonderful story of love and hope. Kudos! I loved this book.

Jamie White, Author

    Check out my book on Goodreads