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There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America | [Alex Kotlowitz]

There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America

This national best-seller chronicles the true story of two brothers coming of age in the Henry Horner public housing complex in Chicago. Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers are 11 and nine years old when the story begins in the summer of 1987. Living with their mother and six siblings, they struggle against grinding poverty, gun violence, gang influences, overzealous police officers, and overburdened and neglectful bureaucracies. Immersed in their lives for two years, Kotlowitz brings us this classic rendering of growing up poor in America’s cities.
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Publisher's Summary

This New York Public Library selection, as one of the 150 most important books of the 20th century, is a true-life portrait of growing up in the Chicago projects.

This national best-seller chronicles the true story of two brothers coming of age in the Henry Horner public housing complex in Chicago. Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers are 11 and nine years old when the story begins in the summer of 1987. Living with their mother and six siblings, they struggle against grinding poverty, gun violence, gang influences, overzealous police officers, and overburdened and neglectful bureaucracies. Immersed in their lives for two years, Kotlowitz brings us this classic rendering of growing up poor in America’s cities.

©1991 Alex Kotlowitz (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A triumph of empathy as well as a significant feat of reporting.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Alex Kotlowitz’s story informs the heart. His meticulous portrait of the two boys in a Chicago Housing project shows how much heroism is required to survive, let alone escape.” (New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (49 )
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4.4 (29 )
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  •  
    Caro Miami 05-24-13
    Caro Miami 05-24-13
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    "Six stars"

    Don't know why I had not read this before. This book went on to become a nonfiction classic, often assigned in sociology classes. Written in the 1980s, it is -- sadly -- all still true. Not an easy reality. Told thru the eyes of children. Complicated. Unbiased. There is no better narrator than Dion Graham, who was especially able in bringing this story home.

    Recommended for the same people who appreciate Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. You might also like Gangleader for a Day.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SarahG Chicago, IL, United States 08-27-12
    SarahG Chicago, IL, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2009
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    "My life was changed by reading this book."
    If you could sum up There Are No Children Here in three words, what would they be?

    Shocking, angering, hopeful


    What about Dion Graham’s performance did you like?

    Dion did an excellent job for the most part... a little slow at times. There were only a few times when his annunciation knocked me out of my listening dream.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Every moment! This was a roller coaster ride of a book.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is so powerful, so well researched, so intimate while paying attention to the broader picture... I told my husband that if I wrote something this meaningful and essential to understanding life in America and race relations today, I would die a happy woman. Bravo a million times over.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mc192 United States 01-30-12
    mc192 United States 01-30-12
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    "Heart wrenching!"
    Where does There Are No Children Here rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Excellent book, realistic account, one of my top picks!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lafeyette


    What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He has one of those classic voices that just brings the story alive!


    If you could give There Are No Children Here a new subtitle, what would it be?

    A realistic account of childhood or a lack of; in a ghetto of Chicago


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very realistic account of a problem many weren't aware of and everyone should read this at least once! We all here about gang activities, but this book brings that to life and gives an up close perspective.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dempsey Paraparaumu, New Zealand 02-13-12
    Dempsey Paraparaumu, New Zealand 02-13-12

    47 year old woman

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    "Sad disturbing tale of life in the projects."
    Would you consider the audio edition of There Are No Children Here to be better than the print version?

    It 's hard to say. I would imagine they would be much the same.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Pretty desperate and sad. Like watching a train wreck. disturbing.


    Any additional comments?

    The language is embarrassingly flowery. So many clichés and trite descriptions. Yet despite this the story is fantastic. So glad I perservered despite the terrible writing style. This true story of a family growing up in the projects: It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion. How can the brothers survive? and if they do survive will they ever get out of that place? Or are they doomed to be like everyone else?
    How could this happen in America and who's responsible?

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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