Fire In the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children - Jonathan Kozol
Why I read it:
The book Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools was recommended to me but at this time that book is not available through the Chicago Public Library. This one was.
A touch of what I thought:
Unlike many of the social justice books I have been encountering, this book was both readable and accessible. The book is balanced in that he talks about tragic stories as well as impressive success stories, he is also judicious in the amount of detail he chooses to use and does not overburden the book with statistics.
His stories and relationships are fascinating and I specifically enjoyed a section about newspaper stories being decoded for him. His analysis of themes, discussions of changes he has seen over two decades, and his tempered expectations for success were also quite intriguing.
What I Learned about myself:
My personal biases hit me in the face once during this book. As I read the story of a child, I had developed an image of him in my mind and was later surprised when he mentioned the child’s ethnicity.
"Charity and chance and narrow selectivity are not the way to educate the children of a genuine democracy" (p 304, location 4204).