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Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago Paperback – May 1, 1998
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The boys become involved simply by bringing their notebooks, pens, tape recorders, cameras (and their instincts) to their own neighborhood. Interview subjects include teachers, young children, cousins, neighbors, the chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority, police officers and lawyers. Their approach is direct and simple - they ask the tough questions of the people in charge. For example, Lloyd asks the CHA chairman, "Would you want your kids growing up in these public houses?" With the help of David Isay, LeAlan and Lloyd become the chroniclers of their particular time and place.
The book's readability level is low - at maximum, it's on a fifth grade level in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure. However, the themes and issues developed in the book are far more advanced. Students of any age level in high school should be able to grasp the content and then think critically about the issues it presents around racism, poverty, gang violence, family structure and public housing. It is a book aimed not only at young people but also the adults in power, the people who make the decisions that affect the poor.Read more ›
Because the book is written as a script of the interviews they did, we get a sense of the real lives of the people in the projects. Alcoholism, drug addiction, violence are all a part of the everyday struggle. There are elements of hope too, found in teachers who care and a grandmother and sisters who are there for these kids.
The boys become investigative reporters as they try to find out the truth behind the murder of a 5-year-old child who was dropped from the 14th floor window of the projects by two other kids over a dispute about candy. They even talk to the attorneys and the police.
I'm glad I read Our America. I needed to hear these stories from those who rarely get an opportunity to express themselves. As someone who grew up in the suburbs, I take too much for granted.
I have great respect for these men in this book for they are our future. Chicago, my home, is a better please because of these talented men...Continue to speak with your mighty voices.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read. I was born and raised in those same projects before they turned into a war zone. Still I love Chicago and everything about it. I even cried reading this story. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Danielle Moore
This is a must read. It will open anyone's eyes in a way that I think is quite unique.Published 8 months ago by JustSomeone
This book should be a required read in all high school and/or college curriculums!Published 16 months ago by Stephanie Hardy
Told the story of my old neighborhood. Brought back a lot of memories. Well done.Published 16 months ago by Leslie E. Harris