Sunday, January 20, 2019

"There Are No Children Here"

This book was the one that inspired me to write Literally Unbelievable: Stories of an East Oakland Classroom. It is the story of two brothers growing up in a housing project in Chicago. The title comes from their mom saying, "But you know, there are no children here. They've seen too much to be children."

I was reminded of this book recently when I had dinner with a former student. She's 14 and in 8th grade. She was telling me about what she and her close friends have been through: homelessness, near-homelessness, sex trafficking, seeing people shot, friends who have died, parents and siblings in prison, watching drug deals, being locked in closets while family members smoked crack, and (unsurprisingly) depression, psychosis, and suicidal ideation.


We have to do better by these kids. They are being robbed of their childhood.

What to do?

Well, raising awareness is key. That's why I wrote Literally Unbelievable, so that people can understand what these kids--children--have to deal with.

Learn about it and tell everyone you know.

Then make some noise. Talk to your representatives and tell this that this isn't acceptable. Volunteer for groups in your community (if you're in the Bay Area, I have some ideas in the appendix of the book)

Please share other ideas! We can't consider this acceptable.

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