Extended Audio Sample

There Are No Children Here Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample There Are No Children Here, by Alex Kotlowitz
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 3.67 (5,775 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alex Kotlowitz Narrator: Dion Graham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This national bestseller chronicles the true story of two brothers coming of age in the Henry Horner public housing complex in Chicago. 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 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. There Are No Children Here was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. It was later made into a television movie for ABC, produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “Kotlowitz has achieved a triumph of empathy as well as a significant feat of reporting.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Amid the darkness and ever-present despair, Kotlowitz beautifully captures the moments of brightness and hope.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Alex Kotlowitz joins the ranks of the important few writers on the subject of urban poverty.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “The devastating story of brothers Lafayette and Pharoah Rivers, children of the Chicago ghetto, is powerfully told.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[A] powerful and moving book…Unless they have hearts of stone, few readers will fail to become emotionally involved with these boys, as Kotlowitz did…Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Narrator Dion Graham’s even pacing and understated intensity lend sensitivity and immediacy to Kotlowitz’s chronicle of his three years of observing the impoverished Rivers family as it struggles with poverty, drugs, gangs, and indifference. Graham’s transitions from straight narration to convincing dialogue are seamless and combine with the subject matter to grip the listener and make turning away impossible. Both author and narrator wisely avoid slipping into dramatics, letting events and participants speak for themselves. Although it’s more than twenty years old, this powerful account, sadly, is still current and will leave the listener wishing Kotlowitz had written a follow-up.”

    AudioFile

  • There Are No Children Here, the true story of brothers Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers, ages eleven and nine at the start, brings home the horror of trying to make it in a violence-ridden public housing project…This book humanizes the problem of inner-city pathology, makes readers care about Lafeyette and Pharoah more than they may expect to, and offers a sliver of hope buried deep within a world of chaos.”

    Amazon.com editorial review

  • “Through his extensive research and his intimate friendship with the Rivers family, Kotlowitz paints a poignant, heartbreaking picture of life in the inner-city ghetto and the overwhelming odds children must overcome to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty and crime. A must-read for everyone.”

    School Library Journal

  • A New York Times Notable Book of 1991
  • SoundCommentary.com’s The Best of the Best in 2010
  • Winner of the Carl Sandburg Award
  • Winner of the Christopher Award
  • A National Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award
  • New York Public Library’s 150 Most Important Books of the 20th Century

Listener Reviews

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Klaudyna Z. | 2/15/2014

    " Amazing book, and since I am from Chicago, it hit very close to home. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Tina Gauthier | 2/3/2014

    " Parts of this were difficult because it is a true glimpse of life in the projects of Chicago. I read this in my religion class during high school. Knowing all this was going on only a few miles from our school really seemed unbelievable to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Maddie | 2/1/2014

    " it was ok, but it was kinda boring "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Allie | 1/29/2014

    " This book was a stark and heartbreaking glimpse into life for two boys living in the Chicago projects. The horrors these kids lived through and witnessed were unimaginable. I tried to find out what happened to these two boys since the book was written in 1984 but no information was available. "

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About the Author
Author Alex Kotlowitz

Alex Kotlowitz’s honors include the George Foster Peabody Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the George Polk Award. A former staff writer at the Wall Street Journal, his work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, and the New Yorker, as well as on public radio’s This American Life and on PBS’s Frontline. He is also the author of Never a City So Real and The Other Side of the River.

About the Narrator

Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. An Audie Award–winning and critically acclaimed actor and narrator, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.