There Are No Children Here

There Are No Children Here chronicles two years in the lives of two boys, Lafeyette and Pharoah, struggling to survive in Chicago’s Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect. 

The book, which became a national bestseller, was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. In 1993, it was made into a television movie (for ABC), produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey. Twenty years after its publication, it’s still used regularly in high school and college classes, and to date has sold roughly 800,000 copies.  

The Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism
The Christopher Award
The Carl Sandburg Award

“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

“In chronicling the lives of two brothers in the Henry Horner projects, Kotlowitz has achieved a triumph of empathy as well as a signficant feat of reporting.”

Los Angeles Times

“Amid the darkness and ever-present despair, Kotlowitz beautifully captures the moments of brightness and hope. Easily could become the 1990s equivalent of Michael Harrington’s The Other America.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“A powerful argument against the politics of inertia, hopelessness, and greed, and for a real war on poverty, violence, and racism in our country.”

Tracy Kidder

“This is without a doubt one of the most important books to be published in the last ten years.”

Claude Brown

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

Chicago Tribune

“An extraordinary glimpse into the lives of those struggling for survival and dignity in inner-city America.”

Chicago Sun-Times

Books

Chicago is one of America’s most iconic, historic, and fascinating cities. For Alex Kotlowitz, an accidental Chicagoan, it is the perfect perch from which to peer into America’s heart.

Separated by a river, St. Joseph and Benton Harbor are two Michigan towns that are geographically close, yet worlds apart. St. Joseph is a prosperous, predominately white lakeshore community while Benton Harbor is impoverished and predominately black. When the body of Eric McGinnis, a black teenage boy from Benton Harbor, is found in the river that separates the towns, relations between the two communities grow increasingly strained as longheld misperceptions and attitudes surface. 

There Are No Children Here chronicles two years in the lives of two boys, Lafeyette and Pharoah, struggling to survive in Chicago’s Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect. 

© 2017, Alex Kotlowitz. All rights reserved