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A touching, meticulous portrait of two boys growing up in a Chicago housing project reveals how they help each other maintain a shred of innocence among street gangs, gunfire, violence, and drugs. Book available.
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There Are No Children Here, the true story of brothers Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers, ages 11 and 9 at the start, brings home the horror of trying to make it in a violence-ridden public housing project. The boys live in a gang-plagued war zone on Chicago's West Side, literally learning how to dodge bullets the way kids in the suburbs learn to chase baseballs. "If I grow up, I'd like to be a bus driver," says Lafeyette at one point. That's if, not when--spoken with the complete innocence of a child. The book's title comes from a comment made by the brothers' mother as she and author Alex Kotlowitz contemplate the challenges of living in such a hostile environment: "There are no children here," she says. "They've seen too much to be children." This book humanizes the problem of inner-city pathology, makes readers care about Lafeyette and Pharoah more than they may expect to, and offers a sliver of hope buried deep within a world of chaos.From the Publisher:
This is the moving and powerful account of two remarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago's Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect.
"Alex Kotlowitz joins the ranks of the important few writers on the subiect of urban poverty." -- Chicago Tribune.
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