How he saved a boy, Diante, who was caught in between a cross fire and wanted to die, and in early September when he witnessed a fire-bombing and wouldn't talk about it in order to keep his family safe. He eventually grew up and joined the Vice Lords. LaShawn becomes addicted to drugs, supporting her habit with occasional prostitution, and Weasel is incarcerated for participating in a burglary. Although this is a true story and very sad, I did not find this book very interesting. He tells Lafeyette to work hard at school and stay away from gangs, and Lafeyette looks up to him. In other words, it is worth reading even though it is a bit of a struggle to begin with.
Two major things bugged me about this. They knew more of life and death and struggle at 11 than I'll likely ever know, and my childhood wasn't rainbows and unicorns. None of that is needed, as the accounts speak for themselves. That is one sign of an exceptional book. The biggest idea I take from this story is, as a teacher, school can offer some order, structure, some This book ended abruptly for me. Despite being quite aware of the income inequality, injustices, and general corruption that plague many America cities, this story was still enlightening.
Several people the writer interviewed have been killed. I'm now convinced that it is nearly impossible for people to rise out of their circumstances. His meticulous portrait of the two boys in a Chicago housing project shows how much heroism is required to survive, let alone escape. In Horner, there are two gangs that claim it as their turf, and the Rivers family is constantly ducking from shots of gunfire there. An internet search supplied me with the unfortunate answer: it seems that Pharoah did manage to graduate high school, but neither one went to college and both ended up spending time in prison. He felt compelled to elaborate on what he saw by spending several days a week and many weekends just hanging out with the kids and their mom over a two year period, and then wrote this book about it. Life was not only discouraging, it was also extremely dangerous.
To compare my childhood, and what I understood about life at this age, to their childhood and what they understood. A fine portrait of a Chicago family surviving but taking wounds from poverty, bureaucracy, violence, bigotry, some wounds arguably self-inflicted but many otherwise. The result is a pervasive fatalism. Both , and now in their mid-30s, one is out on parole and another awaits release for a chance at a better life. It was assigned to me at school, and I was less than enthusiastic about reading it. Deadly violence still defines impoverished communities where rampant shootings are committed by a new generation of so-called cliques. Pharoah is selected to be part of the school spelling bee contest.
His journalism honors include the George Foster Peabody Award, the Robert F. I'd been meaning to read this book for some time now. In all fairness, I lost interest halfway through the book. I'm just a couple years older than the kids in this book. Every day was conflict and climax.
An American Summer is an archive of the war—like finding a shocking but beautiful bundle of letters and photographs in the attic. At Bird Leg's funeral, Lafeyette is numb and wonders if he will make it to adulthood. It would have helped somewhat if Mr. Originally published in 1991, the book is still relevant. I'd really like to know what happened to the boys once they become adults and whether or not things in this community have changed or improved.
But at the same time, much has stayed the same. Incidentally, the book reads more like a novel than a work of non-fictional journalism. Following the family over three years shows the importance of neighborhood factors when it comes to crime. A contributing factor to this precocious maturity is that he lives in a single parent household. Why didn't she seek employment sooner? Everyday there was a shooting right in front of their house. .
The climax that set the rest of the book apart hadn't shown up in those first 150 pages. Kotlowitz gives the impression that government and private assistance, though imperfect and strained, were there but the community was too far in the hole to capitalize on them. I can't think of a better way to really understand poverty. His brother, Dan, is a professor of Theatrical Lighting Design at Dartmouth. The show goes beyond featuring a diverse cast; it features real, completely relatable characters.
I'd been meaning to read this book for some time now. A compelling and heartbreaking work of nonfiction that follows the lives of two young brothers living in public housing on the south side of Chicago in the 80's. The two books have many parallels, although they were written two decades apart. So often non-fiction writers insert themselves in to their writing in a way that interferes with the story being told. I think it's important to read about what life is like for others, people in different countries, different cultures, or people who live in difficult and turbulent contexts, like the boys in this book, the Chicago projects.
It challenged many of my assumptions about government, birth control, criminal justice and gangs. I've felt a void not reading about them since I finished it. A marvel of clarity and unflinching honesty that never descends to become maudlin, cheap, or manipulative. The title comes from a conversation between the author and the boys' mother, where the author says that he would like to speak to other children in the building. I would describe this shocking and moving glimpse into the lives of Lafayette and Pharoah Rivers as disturbing, in a good way. They live with their mother LaJoe, their siblings and various relatives who come and go, sometimes including their father. Kennedy Journalism Award and the George Polk Award.