In this powerful and culminating work about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years, Jonathan Kozol returns to the scene of his previous prize-winning books, and to the children he has vividly portrayed, to share with us their fascinating journeys and unexpected victories as they grow into adulthood.
For nearly fifty years, Jonathan has pricked the conscience of his readers by laying bare the savage inequalities inflicted upon children for no reason but the accident of being born to poverty within a wealthy nation. But never has his intimate acquaintance with his subjects been more apparent, or more stirring, than in Fire in the Ashes, as Jonathan tells the stories of young men and women who have come of age in one of the most destitute communities of the United States. Some of them never do recover from the battering they undergo in their early years, but many more battle back with fierce and often jubilant determination to overcome the formidable obstacles they face. As we watch these glorious children grow into the fullness of a healthy and contributive maturity, they ignite a flame of hope, not only for themselves but also for our society.