Cover image for Hear these voices : youth at the edge of the millennium
Hear these voices : youth at the edge of the millennium
Allison, Anthony.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
169 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Presents case studies of teenagers living with homelessness, prostitution, alcoholism, and neighborhood violence and interviews with staff members from organizations committed to helping teenagers in crisis.
Reading Level:
960 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.1 9.0 32906.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.7 14 Quiz: 24226 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ796 .A535 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Here is an extraordinary journey into the hearts and minds of teenagers at risk. In these eight remarkable interviews, photographer and documentarian Anthony Allison invites readers to share in the life experiences of his subjects through indepth, first-person narration and startlingly reverent black-and-white portraits.As Carl Sandburg said of Edward Steichen's work, here are "faces beyond forgetting". Aged ten to nineteen, the protagonists of this unflinchingly honest collection tell what it is like to grow up in a world fraught with unspeakable obstacles: family abuse and homelessness, rampant violence, drug and alcohol abuse, HIV/AIDS infection. We meet Irina from Kiev and Ranson, a Native American from South Dakota, both weighing the value of sobriety in cultures rife with alcoholism. We meet two pairs of friends -- Phil and Antonio from the South Bronx, and Sharon and Caroline from Belfast -- all four trying to stay safe and remain psychically whole in neighborhoods where fatal violence is an everyday occurrence. We meet Muay, sold to a Bangkok brothel at the age of ten by her stepfather, and Daisy, a homosexual young man living with AIDS in San Francisco. And finally we meet Carrie, who ran away from her troubled home to a life on the Denver streets, and two groups of homeless boys attempting to find their way in a changing South Africa. Although their stories may not end "happily ever after", all the subjects have benefited from the intervention of

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. These troubling testimonies from teenagers begin as 14-year-old Muay, from Thailand, tells of being sold into prostitution by a drug-addicted stepfather. In frank, unaffected monologues, Muay and other young adults, who are captured in numerous photographs, describe lives disfigured by some of the worst the world has to offer--addiction, neglect, violence, and terrorism. In Belfast, Sharon and Caroline talk about their fear and their confusion about the decades-old "troubles" dividing the region. Irina, an 18-year-old Ukrainian, delivers one of the most powerful antidrug messages young people can hear as she recalls the growing detachment and depression that accompanied her habit. Her description of the two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back path to sobriety explodes the myth of just-say-no media campaigns. Allison lets his subjects speak for themselves: the interviews are authentic and credible, filled with dialect, slang, and, in some cases, words that appear to be awkwardly translated into English. The terrain is unquestionably bleak, but the lives of these teens still reflect hope--tentative, hard-won hope that speaks to the light that exists in even the darkest lives. Of less interest to YAs are the shorter follow-up interviews with adults who intervened to help the teens, testimony to the success of mentoring and conflict resolution. --Randy Meyer

Publisher's Weekly Review

Photographer and youth counselor Allison debuts with a volume comprised of 18 accounts of teens who have overcome extraordinary obstacles, but frames the profiles in a way that detracts from the testimonies. The first chapter begins with a composite picture of life on the streets of Johannesburg and Pretoria through the words of several teenagers; the following chapters highlight one or two teenagers' stories. Although the subjects vary in nationality, race and gender, they share an underlying spirit of self-reliance and a commitment to change as they tackle problems that range from drug addiction to civil unrest in Northern Ireland; one girl, sold into prostitution in Thailand at the age of 10, is now in a training program to educate her native village about AIDS. Atmospheric black-and-white photographs transport readers to each subject's environs. For example, runaway Carrie is shown emerging from her makeshift lodgings under a bridge in Denver, Colo., to head to her part-time job. Unfortunately, the chapters end jarringly with commentary from adults who are involved with the programs and organizations helping these teens. Unlike the kids profiled, who speak to their peers, the adults address other adults ("I think a lot of these kids don't trust anyone") with a didacticism that will be a turnoff to most readers. Ironically, despite the fact that many of the teens included here are involved in helping others like themselves, the book never tells readers how they might participate‘or find help themselves. This book aims high but misses its mark. Ages 12-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up‘Compelling stories of teens at risk around the world. In their own words, these young people recount stories of homelessness, drug addiction, AIDS, alcoholism, rape, physical and emotional abuse, violence, and prejudice‘obstacles that have made their passage into adolescence and adulthood heroic. Readers will hear the words of 14-year-old Muay in Thailand, sold by her stepfather when she was 10; "Daisy" in San Francisco, who discovered he was HIV positive; Irina, addicted to opium in Kiev; Ranson, coming to terms with his Lakota heritage and the alcoholism in his community; a group of boys in South Africa fighting to survive on the streets; and other strong voices. The stories are immediate, memorable, and cautionary. In their quest for identity, these young people look for support from friends, community organizations, family, and their own values and spirituality, while commenting on the need for education and social change. Common to all of their struggles is a hope for a better future. Each autobiographical account is coupled with commentary from an adult mentor who worked with the teen through a local-level intervention organization. The book's international scope reinforces the message that the problems confronting these individuals are not isolated. Black-and-white photographs appear throughout. A powerful cry for understanding, empathy, and social change, this book raises issues that are important to societies around the world.‘Jennifer A. Fakolt, Denver Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.