Come the Morning

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Wayne State University Press, 2005 - Juvenile Fiction - 191 pages

Published in 1989 to wide acclaim, Come the Morning was one of the first novels for older children to treat the problem of homelessness realistically. Fifteen years later, with unemployment and poverty on the rise again and homeless families haunting the streets of all our major cities, the book remains as sobering and timely as it was in the late 1980s.

Come the Morning tells the story of the Gibsons, a working-class family from El Paso, Texas, who are struggling to survive the desertion of their father. When Constance Gibson receives a money order postmarked Los Angeles from her husband Clyde, she and her oldest child, thirteen-year-old Ben, interpret it as an invitation to join Clyde in the city of dreams. Once in Los Angeles, the Gibsons encounter one ordeal after another, eventually moving them out of a frightening welfare hotel and onto the menacing streets of skid row. Throughout their harrowing struggle, Ben clings desperately to the belief that they will find Clyde, restore their family, and rebuild their lives. While Ben searches for his father, his mother tries valiantly to find them food and shelter.

Stark and sparsely written, this novel is a moving account of a young man forced to measure memory and love against reason and reality. It is at once an illuminating look at the surreal lives of America’s homeless and a tribute to the strength of faith and family. The new edition of this prize-winning novel is enriched with twenty striking photographs by Marissa Roth and a new afterword and commentary by the author.


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About the author (2005)

Mark Jonathan Harris is a professor in the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. He is the author of many books, including Solay (Bradbury, 1993), Confessions of a Prime Time Kid (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1981), and The Last Run (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1981). Also a film director, he has won three Academy Awards for his documentaries, most recently in 2000 for Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport.

Marissa Roth is a freelance photojournalist based in Los Angeles. She has published two books of photographs, most recently Real City: Downtown Los Angeles Inside/Out (Angel City Press, 2001). She was part of the Los Angeles Times photography staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for Best Spot News for their coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

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