An American Summer by Alex Kotlowitz
What’s it about?
Alex Kotlowtiz is the author of There Are No Children Here, about children living in public housing in the city of Chicago in the 1990's. He now turns his attention to one summer in the city of Chicago- the summer of 2013. He chronicles the violence that we read so much about in this city. We hear the stories of perpetrators and victims alike. Mr. Kotlowitz shares the stories of those involved in an effort to make us understand the horror of what is happening. How this violence is shaping those who it surrounds.
What did it make me think about?
How is this the reality for so many people in America?
Should I read it?
This book sheds light on the violence and how it affects the residents of Chicago. This book does not offer solutions. However, if we can at least begin to see some of ourselves in the victims and the perpetrators maybe we will find a way forward.
"In Chicago, the wealthy and the well-heeled die headline deaths and the poor and the rambling die in silence. This is a book, I suppose, about that silence- and the screams and howling and prayers and longing that it hides. Over lunch that day, Pharaoh told me, 'There's a lot of stuff I want to forget.' This book is written with the hope that we won't."
If you liked this try-
Hold, Love, Strong by Matthew Goodman
My Brother Moochie by Issac J. Bailey
Ghettoside A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy
Fire Shut up In My Bones by Charles M. Blow
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!