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Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America Paperback – August 15, 2006


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Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America + There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in The Other America + Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (August 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307345890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307345899
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

To write this "jolting firsthand report," Kozol spent months among the homeless, whose depressing stories, interwoven with his commentaries, tell of infant deaths, malnutrition, hunger, loss of dignity and desperation. "This powerful volume," PW maintained, " forces one to ask: 'What are our national priorities?' " Author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA A horrifying, staggering book about the homeless in this country as specifically exemplified by those who are housed in the Martinique Hotel in New York. Through direct, simply stat ed interviews with several families in the Martinique over a period of time, Kozol systematically strips away the stereotypic litany of what is wrong with welfare recipients (too lazy to work, etc.). He shows repeated case histories of people held captive by a welfare sys tem that would rather pay the private sector $1,900 a month to house them in squalor than give them perhaps a third of that amount for apartment rent and a chance to gain back their self-respect. There is much about this book that is not only infuriating but also uncomfort able; many of these people have previ ously been educated, productive citi zens who have endured several life crises and lost everything. The true heart of this book, however, rests on two pointsthe lack of affordable housing for the poor and, most tragical ly, the children who will become adults with little education, poor health, no marketable skills, and mental and emo tional scars from spending a childhood under these conditions. Kozol's writing is clear and reads easily due to his stark, unembellished style. It is always the people who shine through; they are a testament to the human spirit. It is impossible to read this book and remain untouched. Barbara Weathers, Du chesne Academy, Houston
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jonathan Kozol has been awarded the National Book Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award. His book Savage Inequalities was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and became a national bestseller.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
"A superb... well written book by Kozol.
A.C
I enjoyed this book and definately recommend it to anyone who would like to open their eyes to what is going on in the lives of homeless people.
Natalie Richter
The book has great readabillity and is compelling enough to keep you flipping the pages.
Matt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Chicago on June 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have been reading several reviews of books by Jonathan Kozol and I am disappointed. For starters, everyone seems to be blaming minority mothers for their "out of control baby making." I think the point of his books have been missed. Kozol is always looking at how societal ills effect children. He is not apologizing for families that are larger than can be afforded - he is sympathizing with the children that are born to them. He is sympathizing (better word empathizing) with the children who attend horrible run down schools and like in welfare hotels. As a public school teacher in Chicago, his revelations are very real. We do teach in terrible buildings. We do have homeless children. Would I ever think to point the blame at them? Am I pleased with the choices their parents have made? Not always, but I am also not the one to judge -- I am there to teach their children.
As for all of the people who suggest all "these people" need to do is get up off their couches and get a job: I would like to know if you would be willing to hire these people with substandard educations and possibly no permanent residence. Middle and upper class America is quick to condem those without work, but also the last group of people to provide employment to those in most need. Before condeming the people in these situations, I firmly believe we all need to take a hard look at ourselves.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Upon reading the first few pages of this book, I was hooked. It accounts, in startling detail, the almost systematic way that society has psychologically, racially, and socially disappointed our nations youth. Kozol also does a good job of noting the hypocracy that exists, not only in the American culture, but with the affluent rich as well. I felt that this book touched close to home, because I attended a high school similar to the ones described. I would recommend this book to any educator or student.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Matt on December 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Reading through the book Rachael And Her Children you are brought into a entirely new world. A world where the homeless are not just figures with hands held out asking for spare change. Kozol brings us into the lives of these homeless story by story case by case sharing his personal interviews with these misfortunate people. Instead of putting a empty face on what we normally walk by and think nothing of, Kozol shows us that these individuals were not just mere vermin but people whom grew up like any of us but for any which reason now are homelss. Kozol does an excellet job in showing us not only these poeples lives but also educates the reader in exactly how big of a problem homelessness in America actually is. After reading this book my understanding, knowledge, and compassion of how homeless are actually treated is rought into full perepective. The book has great readabillity and is compelling enough to keep you flipping the pages. I would recomend this book to anyone and think very highly of it
-Matt
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Natalie Richter on May 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book not knowing much about all the aspects of homelessness. I was educated about how homeless people live and what the government is doing about it. It turns out, according to Kozol's documentation, the government treats homeless people unfairly and does not make a huge effort to help them. The living situtaions of the people profiled in this book are horrid and really opened my eyes to what is going on in big cities around me. I actually look at homeless people different now, with a more educated view as to what is going on behind the scenes. I enjoyed this book and definately recommend it to anyone who would like to open their eyes to what is going on in the lives of homeless people.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
If there is a "10", this is it!

I put this book down to tearfully go to my kitchen and feel privileged to be able to cook dinner for my own children.
There, but for the grace of God, go we all.

A timeless account of homelessness and the families it visits.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Kozol presents the truth. As a child I lived under the same conditions. The whole family was even sent to another town by the state. It is to bad that history keeps repeating itself. Parents do have to take responsibility BUT society plays a big role.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By jimmy seto on May 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was based on true encounters with homeless individuals and their families. It contains real life situations, although the names are changed, due to protection for homeless individuals. It is a good look at what homelessness is about. It isn't about a lot of lazy, drug addicted people that are hopeless because of their own indolence. They are normal people that had a job, but the tides have turned and they were in the depths of homelessness. It is a tragedy that could happen to anyone. It is a good book to learn about the tragic events that follow homelessness. It is important to know that homelessness is a universal tragedy. It could happen to anyone at anytime. After reading this book I began to sympathize with homelesss individuals because they are brave. Homelessness was not as easily escapible as I thought. It takes a lot out of an individual. It drives them to a point where they think the world is ending.
I reccommend this book to anyone who is intrigued or even curious of homeless experiences. It is a good and factual book that contains intriguing real-life experiences of homeless people. It can get statistical at times but only to prove it's point. That homelessness is a tragedy for a lot of people all over the country. Thanks Mr. Westfall! have a nice summer!
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