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Helpful Votes: 46

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Jeremy Skinner RSS Feed (Muncie, Indiana)

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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 America
by Alex Kotlowitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.97
667 used & new from $0.01

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, May 2, 2000
This book describes a social atmosphere that few people actually experience or fully understand. It only provides a glimpse into the lives of two boys growing up in one of Chicago's public housing areas, but it will leave an everlasting impression in the minds of its readers. Alex Kotlowitz follows the lives of these two young boys as they attempt to navigate through the gang wars, police and government deficiencies, and the poverty stricken Chicago slums. The boys are under 15 years of age, yet they are forced to make decisions that people much older than them struggle with every day. They are forced to struggle through their childhood in poverty and without a father to guide them in those struggles. Kotlowitz looks at the two boys as they watch their friends and family members perish in gang and drug wars, police brutality, or hauled off to prison for other crimes. They also watch as their mother struggles to provide for her family and the governments inefficient handling of Chicago's public housing. The author is able to show the young boys struggle to get an education and succeed in an area filled with failures. They have few role models to guide their decisions and few opportunities for success. Alex Kotlowitz is able to point out the constant struggle these young boys have faced and the opportunities that they are deprived of. He shows how the environment both physically and mentally hampers the two boys opportunity for success and a normal childhood. The book provides an excellent look into the mental struggles they faced as their friends got caught up in gangs, were killed, and started committing petty crimes. Overall this book provides an excellent depiction of life in the Chicago public housing, and the struggle of those two boys as they attempt to survive and succeed in the ghettos.

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