The MY HERO Project | Library

Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation

By Jonathan Kozol

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, September 1996
ISBN: 0060976977
MY HERO recommends this book to adult readers.
Amazing Grace is a book about the hearts of children who grow up in the South Bronx - the poorest congressional district of our nation. Without rhetoric, but drawing extensively upon the words of children, parents, and priests, this book does not romanticize or soften the effects of violence and sickness. One fourth of the child-bearing women in the neighborhoods where these children live test positive for HIV. Pediatric AIDS, life-consuming fires, and gang rivalries take a high toll. Several children die during the year in which this narrative takes place. Although it is a gently written work, Amazing Grace makes clear that the postmodern ghetto of America is not a social accident but is created and sustained by greed, neglect, racism, and expedience. It asks us questions that are, at once, political and theological. What is the value of a child''s life? What exactly do we plan to do with those whom we appear to have defined as economically and humanly superfluous? How tough do we dare to be?
User Reviews:
linton | 4/6/2007 11:21 AM
i need help with answering questions adressing this book

It would be best to address your questions to the publisher, HarperCollins.
-- The MY HERO Library Staff

Sandra Chanson | 12/19/2006 12:10 PM
This book was as heart wrenching for me to read. I am still unable to accept the fact that children are suffering and so many can stand by and do nothing about it. This book was a remarkable read, those of us who are fortunate never will fully understand how poverty trickles down and becomes a way a life for generations.
Melissa | 12/19/2006 2:00 AM
Real eye opener. Not too many people realize poverty exists and to the extreme in this country. We should all feel very fortunate that we don't have to live in the conditions the children of Mott Haven endure.
wkoziol | 12/18/2006 1:26 AM
If you think you know about poverty issues then think again.  This powerful book makes one become aware of what is really going on in our poverty stricken areas.  Once one reads this book then you will have the knowledge and understanding that you thought you had but the only difference is now you will know.  It is a must read book.
Karen | 12/18/2006 12:43 AM
Worth reading to understand the depth of poverty among the struggling children while at the same time leaving you feeling  fortunate, maybe even guilty, for all that you have.
Andrea | 12/17/2006 11:38 PM
This was a very moving book.  Kozol's detailed account of what it's like to live in the South Bronx, Inspires not only thought but, should drive us all to take action.
David | 12/17/2006 9:50 AM
It is a great book because is about a real issue in our society that people dont want to see. Everyone should read it.
Larry N. | 12/16/2006 10:52 PM
This is very powerful reading that gives a deep insight into life in the ghetto (South Bronx, NY). Mr. Kozol touches on not only the physical conditions but the psychological and emotional as well. This book should be required reading at the high school level. It provides an excellent source for the subjects of racism and poverty.
Laura | 12/16/2006 9:54 AM
Great book, well written. He gives you a personal view of a very difficult subject. You come away not feeling sorry for these people, but angry that anyone would treat another person this way. It is an eye opener.
Kim | 12/15/2006 9:29 AM
This book gives a candid, and at times painful, picture of what life is like in NYC's poorest neighborhood.  The people Kozol follows are insightful beyond their years, stronger than you'd imagine, and smart in ways we probably can't understand.  By writing this book, Kozol calls for a change in humanity.  He asks us to see life from the view of the disadvantaged and perhaps calls on us to step up and try to make a difference.  I agree that this should be required reading for high school students, which should be followed up with required experiential learning (volunteering in a soup kitchen, for example), because the more people understand the inequalities in this country, the more likely we are to want to actually change them.
aricely | 12/15/2006 9:14 AM
This was an excellent book! I Learend a lot from this book it is a very powerful book and it actually makes you think about society! I highly recommend this book.
LISA | 12/13/2006 8:11 PM
This book takes a look at the poverty that surrounds us and most people don't care to acknowledge. It is thought provoking without being overly grotesque. Everyone should read this book.
Natalee | 12/13/2006 5:11 AM
Very powerful and thought provoking book leading into the lives of those in poverty. I would recommend this book to all.
Andrea | 12/12/2006 8:54 AM
This was an excellent book. Jonathan Kozol painted a very vivid picture of what it is like to grow up in the South Bronx. This should be required reading for all kids at some point of highschool.

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