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There Are No Children Here Alex Kotlowitz was a freelance journalist In 1985 a friend came to him and asked him to write a text for a photo essay he was doing on children living in poverty for a Chicago magazine That is when he met the Rivers brothers Lafeyette age ten and Pharoah age seven He spent only a few hours with them interviewing for the photo essay Lafeyette had an impact on Kotlowitz When asked what he wanted to be Lafeyette responded with If I grow up Id like to be a bus driver Meaning at ten years old he wasnt sure if hed make it to adulthood In 1988 Kotlowitz suggested to the boys mother LaJoe the idea of writing a book about Pharoah Lafeyette and the other children in the neighborhood LaJoe liked the idea However she then said But you know there are no children here Theyve seen too much to be children Alex Kotlowitz entitled his book There Are No Children Here It is a story of two brothers growing up in a housing project of Chicago By the author following the boys throughout their day to day lives we the readers are also enveloped in the boys surroundings We learn about their everyday lives from how they pick out their clothes to how they wash them We go to school with them and we play with them Throughout the book we are much like flies on the wall We see and feel everything the boys go through at Henry Horner Homes the project where they live LaJoe moved into the Henry Horner Homes in 1956 with her mother and father Back then it was a beautiful place There was a green grass baseball diamond which was regularly mowed For the children there was a playground with swings and jungle gyms The bricks were smooth the windows were shimmering and the walls were freshly painted white The
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