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

There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other AmericaThis National Bestseller Chronicles The True Story Of Two Brothers Coming Of Age In The Henry Horner Public Housing Complex In Chicago Lafeyette And Pharoah Rivers Are Eleven And Nine Years Old When The Story Begins In The Summer Of 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 There Are No Children Here Was Selected By The New York Public Library As One Of The Most Important Books Of The Twentieth Century It Was Later Made Into A Television Movie For ABC, Produced By And Starring Oprah Winfrey

FROM HIS WEBSITE Between writing books on urban affairs and society, Alex Kotlowitz has contributed to The New York Times Magazine , The New Yorker and public radio s This American Life Over the past three years, he has produced three collections of personal narratives for Chicago Public Radio Stories of Home, Love Stories and Stories of Money Stories of Home was awarded a Peabody H

❮BOOKS❯ ✹ There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America ✯ Author Alex Kotlowitz –
  • Audio CD
  • 9 pages
  • There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America
  • Alex Kotlowitz
  • English
  • 14 April 2019
  • 9781441734846

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

  1. says:

    For those wondering what happened to Pharoah and Lafayette, here s a quote from the author, taken from a 2011 Chicago Tribune article In 1991, the same year the book was published, Henry Horner residents embarked on a legal battle that led to a federal consent decree to have the site redeveloped The towering high rises were eventually demolished and replaced with town houses, condominiums and public housing apartments.Public housing now in Chicago is not perfect, but it s quite different from when we first started, Popkin said, citing the transformation at Horner, the CHA s commitment to resident services and the way that the agency is managed.But many things remain the same The poor are still extremely segregated, Kotlowitz said Deadly violence still defines impoverished communities where rampant shootings are committed by a new generation of so called cliques.The characters of There Are No Children Here have met mixed fates Several people the writer interviewed have been killed.And Kotlowitz said readers of the book constantly send him emails, asking how Lafeyette and Pharoah Walton are doing I think they really genuinely feel that they ve gotten to know these two boys and they care about them and only want the best for them, he said You can tell by the emails that they are kind of rooting for them The brothers, now 36 and 33, have dealt with their share of adversity They have both served time in prison and continue to struggle with poverty.Pharoah Walton, depicted as the inquisitive younger brother, was paroled last year on a drug related conviction, Department of Corrections records show Over the years, though, he s joined Kotlowitz for speaking engagements and in 1993 was in the author s wedding.Lafeyette Walton lives on the South Side and works inside a laundry He was paroled this year after being convicted on separate drug, drunken driving and handgun charges.Depicted as the reserved older brother, Lafayette Walton said that he was conflicted about the success of the book during the 1990s.While he got to travel the country and earned a bit of a celebrity status, the family was still poor His mother had a nervous breakdown, forcing him to take on the role of caretaker for his younger siblings.But Lafeyette Walton credits the experiences with Kotlowitz with giving him a broader view of the world, better able to cope with the stresses of the streets.

  2. says:

    This book changed my entire perception of the power of journalism Kotlowitz follows the lives of two young boys growing up in the projects of the near West Side of Chicago I consider it a seminal book in my life It was both heart wrenching and mind opening The writing is smooth and thoughtful It is exhaustively researched, and his access to the subjects just astounds me That he could get them to trust him as much as they did is astonishing Then the story he records just astounds Before reading this book I would never have believed that life could be so destitute and hopeless for people inside the United States of America It s informative without being preachy, too, which I like It challenged many of my assumptions about government, birth control, criminal justice and gangs.If I could give this book six stars, I would A must read.

  3. says:

    This book ended abruptly for me I think it s because I wanted to keep hearing about Lafayette and Pharoah s daysmake sure they were okay I ve felt a void not reading about them since I finished it That is one sign of an exceptional book There is so much chaos in the Lafayette and Pharoah s lives The book affirmed the importance of school with all its rules and rituals The Spelling Bee The biggest idea I take from this story is, as a teacher, school can offer some order, structure, some connection between cause and effect for kids who don t have it in their homes and families I m also really interested in all the descriptions of space in the book The lack of a common space or formal entry way in the Henry Horner Homes, the putrid, wasteful mess in the basement, doors falling off hinges in apartments, how hallways provide safety from stray bullets, the lack of grocery stores, restaurants, or businesses near the projects, and the looming money filled United Center just a few blocks away There is no respect for boundaries or the separation between public and private space It s part of what makes life so tiring and dangerous I know there s to say I m grateful for what this story has made me think about.

  4. says:

    At the time this book was written, I was nearly the same age as the main characters and living only 12 miles away in the near west suburb of Bellwood We thought we were poor back then but this book has opened my eyes to bottomless abyss of poverty I m now convinced that it is nearly impossible for people to rise out of their circumstances We re not all born with equal opportunities This book describes a culture where children can t learn because they re hungry tired distracted by violence, women become mothers in their early teens and grandmothers in their late twenties, and young people are told by every authority figure that they re future criminals How can you escape when you have no one to help No family to move you out or lend you money No agency that can see the individual in the crowd or on the waiting list And the vicious cycle continuing when your child s lack of education lands them right back in the projects On the other hand, I also came away from the book with the realization that the people described should not be understood based on their circumstances Despite their situation, the Rivers family could be any American family genuine concern for each other, a desire to improve the lives of the next generation, good intentions with the occasional bad decision.

  5. says:

    Although this is a true story and very sad, I did not find this book very interesting I don t know if it was because I have not worked with children this poor in the past, although I have worked with some very low income families, but I have not been around the world of drugs and guns as I am from the countryside and not a big city girl, although I have lived in some massive cities around the world This book was an okay read, but I kept waiting for their to be a drastic, devastation to the story that never really happened

  6. says:

    This is one of my favorite books It s so amazing that Alex Kotlowitz was able to experience these kids lives and be able to share it with the world Most People are oblivious to the things that go on in Henry Horner or any other project in America and this book shows the every day struggle that The Other America goes through At times I felt sick to my stomach while reading this book but it s the realness that affects you most of all This book details building conditions the way they were built to repairs never being made , violence and crime the lack of police, also murders and gang activity , and families caught up in the middle trying to raise their kids the best they can with what they had.

  7. says:

    A story of two young brothers growing up in an infamous project in Chicago known as Horner Homes The book spans 4 years and deals mostly with describing how the boys are affected by poverty, violence, drugs, gangs and run ins with the police Won the Robert F Kennedy Award for Journalism.I d been meaning to read this book for some time now While visiting a friend, I saw it on her shelf and asked her how was it She said, It s good, but it s depressing It s really depressing I d say it was depressing than good It was fairly well written and I d recommend it to anyone interested in the subject, especially folks who work with children regularly, but it didn t contain any surprising, enlightening information It also, in my opinion, seemed to lack direction Many of the chapters brought little development you just sort of watch the kids suffer Maybe that s what Kotlowitz was going for.The chapter where Lafayette the older brother confronts his dope fiend father seemed like the climax to me I almost cheered.The last chapter of the novel describes how the juvenile court system fails Lafayette, accusing him of a crime he did not commit I commiserated quite strongly with this chapter I also had a run in with the law when I was his age and I recall, at 15, being amazed at how spectacularly ineffective and counter productive the juvenile court system was I was arraigned in a packed, public court room juvenile proceedings are supposed to be private I was given 2 years of probation and never went to a single probation meeting or received a single call from my P.O I was given 400 hours of community service and didn t serve a minute of it What I did get from my encounter with the courts was instant acceptance from all of the worst troublemakers in my high school The dealers, users, vandals, thieves and bullies they all immediately welcomed me with open arms into their clique I was invited to parties, greeted warmly by people I used to fear and avoid I had instant street cred and a new group of friends Though Kotlowitz never details it, the reader can see that Terence, the boys eldest brother, encounters the same irony The public court system that is supposed to rehabilitate him, instead banishes him to a prison where he can socialize and be educated by criminals, leading him further into a life of gangs and violence I feel like an armchair quarterback saying it s a screwed up system when I have no solutionbutit s a screwed up system.

  8. says:

    I realize now I ve been reading a lot of books about the old Chicago projects Many of them tend to blur together into one tangled mess of shootings, pregnancies, drugs, and live in fourth cousins, but this one really broke my heart.Instead of trying to detail every catastrophic news blurb that makes it out of the projects, a white reporter named Kotlowitz somehow manages to spend years hanging out with just two project boys, Lafeyette and Pharaoh He sees Pharaoh s first birthday party, which he had when he was 10, and which was interrupted by a shooting and an uncle who passes out in his own urine He reports on the killing of Lafeyette s friend Bird Leg, and the ganglords that attend his funeral The book presents a whole universe that can really only be described as down the rabbit hole from everything one thinks about a typical American life The family must constantly huddle in a hallway to hide from stray gunshots ricocheting around their apartment, a mother must desperately pray for just one of her children to graduate from high school, sinks either run constantly for months on end or overflow with sewage, 10 or twelve people, and three or four generations, huddle together in a few crumbling rooms But Kotlowitz is best at conveying the psychological effects of all of this, the boys fear of growing up, or of not growing up at all if I grow up I want to be , and the desire for peace or for any sign of hope among the other residents of the projects It was written over twenty years ago, and most of these projects have been torn down, but its not dissimilar to much of what goes on in those that remain today.

  9. says:

    Readers may have to continually remind themselves, This book is taking place in America This is not a war torn, third world country This is the richest nation in the world The writing style is dated, but the things described here are still occurring every day in our nation You think of all of the money spent to do things like give police in podunk towns military grade vehicles and subsidize the production of junk food, but we can t even perform enough maintenance on low income housing to make the buildings safe and suitable for human life, let alone all of the other stuff going on here.

  10. says:

    The other America What do I really know about life in the projects from my suburban life Turns out nothing Turns out it will make my stomach turn and weep for these children While this book is decades old, and the projects that Kotlowitz profiles Henry Horner Homes in Chicago have since been razed, this is still a telling portrait of how some people are forced to live While the subject matter was at times appalling and grotesque, the writing was so readable, I couldn t put the book down Rather than telling or preaching, Kotlowitz simply showed the life of the Rivers family as they lived in squalid high rises, feared for their lives as gangs ruled their neighborhood and tried to navigate the justice system My eyes were opened.

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