HOTEL BOY by Curt & Gita Kaufman Kaufman


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Made homeless by a fire, five-year-old Henri, his brother Orlando and their unemployed mother live in a hotel on Manhattan's Upper West Side. In a brief, first-person narrative, Henri describes his nearly rootless life: one crowded room in a building full of other homeless people; few possessions; a strange school; no friends except his brother and mother; occasional trips to a park or zoo, high points in his life. The black-and-white photos show Henri, his family and his kindergarten class in a variety of poses, most of them natural (in one scene, Henri's mother reads him the Kaufmans' last photo essay, Rajesh)--even in play he has a grave, tired look. The book ends on a hopeful note, however; a new apartment has been found for Henri and his family, and we last see him struggling up the steps with a large carton, thinking happily about the people he'll be meeting in his next new school. A revealing, child's-eye view of an increasingly common and visible social problem.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum