In There are No Children Here, by Alex Kotlowitz, the way of life in Chicago's Henry Horner projects has a profound effect on all the residents who live there. The children become desensitized by the constant violence that they are forced to witness every day. Children are forced to walk home from school through the urban war zone of these housing projects. It is not unusual for the children to run home from school to avoid becoming casualties of the ongoing battle between rival gangs. The violence has affected Lafeyette and Pharaoh as much as anyone in the projects.
The two children are affected by the environment in completely different ways. Pharaoh, the youngest, takes his surroundings very seriously. Any time that Pharaoh can get a chance, he goes to secret places in order to be alone with his thoughts. The more violence, death, and hardship that Pharaoh is forced to witness, the more deeply he is affected.
Through the two years about which Kotlowitz writes in his book, Pharaoh develops a stutter. This stutter be...
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