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Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among…
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Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America

by Jonathan Kozol

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I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expessed here are my own.

Jonathan Kozol has written another book that looks at those who are less fortunate than many. He has followed the lives of many inner city children. He has shown us that society has in many ways hindered them, yet many of them have survived to go to college and find their way out of this hell that was created for them. As he exposed some of the areas and conditions that these children have had to live through, society moved them to areas that really were not much better and often put them in harm’s way even more. Kozol’s stories are heart-wrenching and often hopeful as we follow these lives and wonder how they managed to survive. A man like this does this from the goodness of his heart. He truly cares. You can feel this as you read the book. He doesn’t judge people. He just tells their stories. ( )
  skstiles612 | Aug 28, 2016 |
This book will be most appreciated by readers familiar with Kozol's other works, particularly titles relating to the children and families he has come to know at St. Ann's. Twenty-five years after beginning to follow the lives of these impoverished children, the author offers updated findings. He concludes that the children who have done well as adults have had something special: someone who intervened in their lives. Powerful and moving.
( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Kozol's book takes us on a compelling journey into the residential hotels of New York City,
where homeless families find disturbing refuge -- and occasionally hope for a better life.
As a teacher, I am constantly reminded of my students hardships when they tell me their
own stories of homelessness, of cleaning houses to help their families make ends meet,
of abuse and neglect. I couldn't put t his book down. In the richest country in the world, it is
shameful to disown our children this way, to assign them such lives of struggle. Thank you, Jonathan
Kozol, for your heart and your words.
  MarcyWinograd | Sep 12, 2012 |
Having taught in the inner city public schools of Cleveland in the early 70s, I have been a long time admirer of Jonathan Kozol and his passion for improving the nation's public education system. He spoke at a Politics and Prose event in Washington, D.C. recently and his words brought tears to many in the audience. In this election year, it is imperative that voters take a hard look at how elected officials approach public education and how the nation can best meet the educational needs of ALL children. While funding is certainly a factor, it is also essential to recognize that standardized testing cannot and should not be the yardstick by which students and teachers are measured. Teachers should be encouraged and empowered to consider the individual needs of students and provided with the resources to meet those needs, both in terms of class size and materials. I encourage everyone to read this book and Kozol's earlier works -- it is heartbreaking to realize how this wealthy nation has neglected public education, especially for those at lowest rung of the economy. ( )
  Jcambridge | Sep 6, 2012 |
Jonathan Kozol breaks my heart every time I open one of his books. Who knew the suffering children are experiencing in homes in the poorest areas of our country? Who knew how schools, the last hope of many, are giving up on these children? Who knew?
Kozol revisits children he has run across in his work in the schools in the past twenty-five years. For many of these children, life has only gotten more difficult and many of these stories end tragically, with prison time and even in death.
But there are happy stories, too. As I was reading along, with one devastating story after the other, I was at the point, mid-book, where it was too painful to go on. It was almost as if Kozol realized that, too, and the stories suddenly began to shift and Kozol began to tell the stories of lives redeemed and saved along with the bleak.
A book that is a reminder to all of us of the power we hold in our hands to help or hinder those too weak or too tired to make it on their own. ( )
  debnance | Sep 2, 2012 |
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Kozol returns to the scene of his prize-winning books Rachel and her children and Amazing Grace, and to the children he's portrayed there, to share their journeys and unexpected victories as they grow into adulthood.

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