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A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court Hardcover – June 30, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0807044025 ISBN-10: 0807044024 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; First Edition edition (June 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807044024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807044025
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,188,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

William Ayers brings a reporter's eye and an activist's heart to this well-written and profoundly disturbing book, A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court. Ayers, who teaches offenders in Chicago's juvenile court system, is a brilliant storyteller, the damning fly on the wall. His book portrays the lives of his students--both within the juvenile temporary detention center and on the "outside." Ayers puts their stories into historical context; argues passionately about the roles of media, poverty, and neglect; refutes the idea of teenager as "superpredator"; and challenges parents--all of us--to ask the question, "Is this good enough for my child?" when determining the standard to use when we think of justice for kids.

From Library Journal

Headlines regularly depict juvenile criminals as extreme and violent "superpredators"?a distorted and incomplete picture that shapes the way Americans think and feel about poor (and mostly minority) city kids. For five years, Ayers, a former member of the radical 1960s Weathermen organization, acted as a teacher and an observer in Chicago's Juvenile Court prison, the nation's first?and largest?institution of juvenile justice. Founded by the legendary Jane Addams to act as a "kind and just parent" for children in need, the court today epitomizes the confused and confusing way American justice deals with children. In Ayers's book, an account of one year in his classroom there, students describe their lives, analyze their situations, and think about their futures. Like Jonathan Kozol in Amazing Grace (LJ 10/1/95), Ayers shows that we must overcome our preconceived notions of these children and learn to deal with the realities of their lives. Ayers is a born educator and communicator, with a voice of hope. Recommended for general collections.?Sandra K. Lindheimer, Middlesex Law Lib., Cambridge, Mass.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Amber Denault on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was an old library book so I expected the wear. One page was torn but it wasn't one that was necessary. The book was excellent and worked just fine for the class I needed it for. Product was true to description.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Haack on February 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really finds the humanity in an otherwise demonized demographic (juvenile delinquents). Everyone going into education should read this book.
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8 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a story of children, real children, still soft inside, and yet with a force field that can put off both the kindest and the most brutal attacks one can inflict. It is a story of a justice system long gone amuck, but often with good intentions, and some surprisingly good people lighting up the corners. Ayers is a good tale-teller, and catches students at the juvenile detention "home" in Chicago - it could just as well be many other places - in moments of anger, despair, humor, joy, self-deception and learning, along with the teachers that carefully try to offer regularity, challenge and choice. For those many to whom juveniles and juvenile detention facilities are not real, this book is a must. For those who know, it will be a renewed inspiration and challenge.

[...]
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5 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Ayers book should be read by all educators who work with young people forgotten by the system. His case studies are brilliantly drawn and teach us a great deal about "juvenile justice". It has provoked discussion of poverty, violence, and social change. It has changed the thinking of many of my students for its clarity, insight, and hope.
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