There Are No Children HerePaper Rating: Word Count: 1279 Approx Pages: 5
Alex Kotlowitz's book, There are no Children Here, deals with the subject of race, values, and community responsibility of the urban underclass. The American inner city deals with the issues such as violent crime and drug wars. With these two explosive issues, the neighborhood experiences the downward spiral of social separation, unemployment and welfare dependence. The lives of two black boys, Lafayette, 10 and Pharaoh, 7 are followed as they struggle to grow up in one of Chicago's worst housing projects.
Lafayette and Pharaoh are not any different than many of their neighbors. Their mother is welfare dependent. Their father is an alcoholic and drug abuser. In the home, there are other siblings, an older brother and sister along with younger triplets, just like so many other families in the area. Kotlowitz takes you into an offensively maintained housing project infested with gangs, where murders and shootings are an everyday thing. The image of the devastation and the despair of no hope of the people living inside the project are vivid. One can truly sense the hopefulness, grasping the loss of family and ardently desire a new life for the boys. You hold out hope that things will work out for the boys.