Review of Jonathon Kozol's The Homeless and Their Children

Pages: 2 (720 words) Published: March 9, 2011
In writing “The Homeless and Their Children”, Jonathon Kozol, uses emotion to raise the awareness of “the effects of literacy on the lives of the poor” (Kozol, page 304). He also used an interview form, to not only show his audience how the main character feels in her own words, but puts himself into the situation if only for a short time.

The author states that “more than one-third of America’s adults are at least partially illiterate, we should organize a massive Government and volunteer army to liberate people in prisoned by illiteracy” (Kozol, page 304). Jonathon Kozol, for over forty years, has been “deeply involved in social justice work” (Wikipedia, page 1). The book, Rachel and Her Children, from which the core reading was taken “received the Robert F. Kennedy award for 1989 and the Conscience of the American Society of Journalist and Authors” (Jonathon Kozol, page 1). He taught for years in poor public schools. In his writings, Kozol tries to show the “difference between schools affluent neighborhoods and those by children of the poor” (AEI page 2).

In the core reading, Kozol states that “some twelve-hundred children” (Kozol page 304), lived in a hotel that housed the homeless in 1985. Kozol uses a woman whose name he changes, “I will call her Laura” (Kozol, page 305), to illustrate how illiteracy can affect some one’s life. He uses Laura’s children to make the audience feel the pain that illiteracy can cause. For example, in the passages “a seven year old boy named Matthew has been sick for several weeks” (Kozol, page 305), and “My daughter is four months. And she has a rash” (Kozol, page 306), causes the audience to feel sympathy for their situation. Kozol even uses other children in the hotel to draw in the audience, “a child on the fourteenth floor fell…and cut his forehead, and required stitches” (Kozol page 305).

Kozol uses Laura’s own words to show afraid she is. Statements like “Somebody can take my children” (Kozol, page...
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