The Dead End Kids of St. Louis Homeless Boys and the People Who Tried to Save Them by Bonnie Stepenoff (Paperback)
Joe Garagiola remembers playing baseball with stolen balls and bats while growing up on the Hill. Chuck Berry had run-ins with police before channeling his energy into rock and roll. But not all the boys growing up on the rough streets of St. Louis had loving families or managed to find success. This book reviews a century of history to tell the story of the “lost” boys who struggled to survive on the city’s streets as it evolved from a booming late-nineteenth-century industrial center to a troubled mid-twentieth-century metropolis.
Most of these boys grew up and lived decent, unheralded lives, but that doesn’t mean that their childhood experiences left them unscathed. Their lives offer a compelling glimpse into old St. Louis while reinforcing the idea that society has an obligation to create cities that will nurture and not endanger the young.
About the Author
Bonnie Stepenoff grew up in the hills of northeastern Pennsylvania and eventually moved to Missouri, where she became a professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University. Now retired, she continues to write non-fiction and poetry. She has six books to her credit, including Working the Mississippi: Two Centuries of Life on the River (University of Missouri Press, 2015), The Dead End Kids of St. Louis: Homeless Boys and the People who Tried to Save Them (University of Missouri Press, 2010), Big Spring Autumn (Truman State University Press, 2008), From French Community to Missouri Town: Ste. Genevieve in the Nineteenth Century (University of Missouri Press, 2006), Thad Snow: A Life of Social Reform in Southeast Missouri (University of Missouri Press, 2003), and Their Fathers’ Daughters: Silk Mill Workers in Northeastern Pennsylvania (Susquehanna University Press, 1999). Her articles, essays, and poetry have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including the Sherlock Holmes Journal (2016), Missouri Law and the American Conscience (2016), Red Moon Anthology (2009 and 2016), Yonder Mountain: An Ozarks Anthology (2013), Cultural Landscapes (2008), Mining Women (2006), The Other Missouri History (2004), Rebellious Families (2002), Labor History, Labor’s Heritage, New York History, Pennsylvania History, Missouri Historical Review, Gateway, Missouri Conservationist, Missouri Life, Modern Haiku, Frogpond, and The Heron’s Nest. She lives in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Published by University of Missouri, September, 2021, Paperback, 192 pages.