There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America
This national best-seller chronicles the true story of two brothers coming of age in the Henry Horner public housing project in Chicago over a two-year period. Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers are eleven and nine years old when the story begins in the summer of 1987. Living with their mother and six siblings, they struggle to survive gun battles, gang influences, overzealous p...more
In 1991, the same year the book was published, Henry Horner residents embarked on a legal battle that led to a federal consent decree to have the site redeveloped. The towering high-rises were eventually demolished and replaced with town houses, condominiums and public housing apartments....more
Public housing now in Chicago is "not perfect, but it's quite different from
There is so much chaos in the Lafayette and Pharoah's lives. The book affirmed the importance of school with all its rules and rituals. The Spelling Bee! The biggest idea I take from this story is, as a teacher, school can offer some order, structure, some ...more
I'm now convinced that it is nearly impossible for people to rise out of their circumstances. We're not all born with equal opportunities. This book describes a culture where children can't learn because they're hungry/tired/distracted by violence, w ...more
I'd been meaning to read this book for some time now. While visiting a friend, I saw it on her shelf and asked her how was it. She said, "It's good, but it's depressing. It's really depressing."
I'd say it was ...more
The lifestyles and environment of people who lived in Publ ...more
I realize now I've been reading a lot of books about the old Chicago projects. Many of them tend to blur together into one tangled mess of shootings, pregnancies, drugs, and live-in fourth cousins, but this one really broke my heart.
Instead of trying to detail every catastrophic news blurb that makes it out of the projects, a white reporter named Kotlowitz somehow manages to spend years hanging out with just two project boys, Lafeyette and Pharaoh. He sees Pharaoh's first birthday party, which h ...more
This is the true life portrait of two boys, Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers, ages 11 and 9 when the story begins in 1987. The author, a famous journalist, kept track of the family for four years. This included the two boys, their mother, and the six other children she had, plus a father who lived there sometimes, and ...more
But, as I pointed out, the circumst ...more
(Higher Ed friends - it reminded me of A Hope in the Unseen in many ways, so if yo ...more
I would describe this shocking and moving glimpse into the lives of Lafayette and Pharoah Rivers as disturbing, in a good way. Eye-opening and tragic, something that people perhaps need to read more than they want to ...more
They never really seemed real, and were something we joked about, like ...more
La-Jo (this was an audible book, so I may be misspelling her name) Rivers had her first child at 14, and went on to have 7 more. This book focuses on her middle boys and the hope she holds for them to have a different life. A life outside the Henry Horner Homes in the projects of Chicago.
This book is a comm ...more
I remember living near them for a summer and driving by them and being creeped out! I recall in the summer of '85 a toddler was raped and thrown off the roof to her death and that story only got a couple lines in the paper.
Update on Lafayette and Pharoah.
I read on msg boards about their incarcerations as adults. I'm relieved they are both alive unlike their friends and enemies.
The real portrayal of daily life in the Chicago west side housing projects. I felt the terror and pulse-pounding fear of walking around "freely" there through the author's words. I heard the gunshots and the thud of bullets ricocheting around the building along with the gravel skidding aside as bodies ...more
It was an excellent read. I know that the author invested time into this family and the community to be able to tell this story accurately. It was an honest story of the brutalities of life in the projects. The author does such a good job of drawing you in, you start to care for the family and worry about th ...more
Between writing books on urban affairs and society, Alex Kotlowitz has contributed to "The New York Times Magazine", "The New Yorker" and public radio’s "This American Life". Over the past three years, he has produced three collections of personal narratives for Chicago Public Radio: "Stories of Home," "Love Stories" and "Stories of Money." Stories of Home was awarded a Peabody. H ...more