Here is truth exceeding the power of fiction. –Norval Morris, professor, University of Chicago Law School
“Ayers’s book does for incarcerated kids . . . what Studs Terkel has done for the city’s working folks, [and] what Alex Kotlowitz has done for the residents of its housing projects.” –Anthony M. Platt, Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Bill Ayers is a gifted writer and an acute observer of the inferno which we call the Juvenile Court. No part of the American justice system is less observed or more greatly in need of reform. A Kind and Just Parent is a moving and intensely sympathetic account of the lives of both the adults and children caught in the sometimes hopeless maelstrom of our juvenile justice system. At every level, it is a book full of grace.” –Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent
“William Ayers is as sensitive and gifted a chronicler as he is a teacher. His odyssey-for it is far more than just a tour-through the juvenile court is Dickensian in its tragic, maddening detail and dimension; and yet it is strangely hopeful.”–Studs Terkel
“At last a heroic and insightful account of what poor young people have had to endure in the Cook County Juvenile Court system. . . . Ayers, I salute you. Your words cut true. And no one can escape their clarion message.”–Luis J. Rodriguez, author of Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.
“A very important and disturbing book about the betrayal of Jane Addams’s dream and the ways in which heroic individuals still struggle to defend the dignity of children in the face of crushing odds. It is Bill Ayers’s immersion in the lives of those who go before the court that gives this book its strength and passion and intensity. Vivid narratives are set in context by an author who has studied history and understands the politics of juvenile injustice. I hope this book will reach the ears of Congress.”–Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace and Savage Inequalities
“As juvenile crime increases, the brutal conditions that produce delinquents have risen even faster. Since 1960 the number of child abuse or neglect cases handled by juvenile courts has risen five times faster than delinquency cases, which have nearly quadrupled. With that in mind, one might ask why so many children become delinquents and how so many avoid becoming delinqents. . . . [Ayers] offers a view of delinquent youths you won’t see much of on the evening news. It is not scary enough. It is only tragic.” –Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune