There Are No Children Here

  • by Alex Kotlowitz
  • Narrated by Dion Graham
  • 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This New York Public Library selection, as one of the 150 most important books of the 20th century, is a true-life portrait of growing up in the Chicago projects.
This national best-seller chronicles the true story of two brothers coming of age in the Henry Horner public housing complex in Chicago. Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers are 11 and nine years old when the story begins in the summer of 1987. Living with their mother and six siblings, they struggle against grinding poverty, gun violence, gang influences, overzealous police officers, and overburdened and neglectful bureaucracies. Immersed in their lives for two years, Kotlowitz brings us this classic rendering of growing up poor in America’s cities.

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What the Critics Say

“A triumph of empathy as well as a significant feat of reporting.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Alex Kotlowitz’s story informs the heart. His meticulous portrait of the two boys in a Chicago Housing project shows how much heroism is required to survive, let alone escape.” (New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Six stars

Don't know why I had not read this before. This book went on to become a nonfiction classic, often assigned in sociology classes. Written in the 1980s, it is -- sadly -- all still true. Not an easy reality. Told thru the eyes of children. Complicated. Unbiased. There is no better narrator than Dion Graham, who was especially able in bringing this story home.

Recommended for the same people who appreciate Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. You might also like Gangleader for a Day.


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- Caro

An astounding and revealing real life story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I seldom come across a tale this affecting and powerful. Again I listened to this via Audible.com and I was not at any moment disappointed. Dion Graham is a seasoned and expressive narrator. The story is one that cuts straight to the heart of Chicago's innercity housing problems through the eyes of two young boys Lafayette and Pharoah. Kotlowitz somehow manages to strip away the distance one might feel in a typical journo-based human interest piece and replaces that with something incredibly experiential. I am certainly going to look for more of his writing after this.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Pharoah was my favourite character. I think that his undying sense of love over senseless violence and injustice at first comes across as naiive but really when you look at it, he asks some very obvious and potent questions. I know that his life has been hard upto now... mi only hope he has maintained that spirit as a young man.


What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Graham's voice is superb. I cannot fault his insights as a narrator. he cerhtainly brought the book to life for me and Icould not, could not stop listening to him!


If you could give There Are No Children Here a new subtitle, what would it be?

I dont think the subtitle needs changing


Any additional comments?

Read this book!!!!

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- Vulindlela

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-30-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.