Back To Self-Help Page
The Carny Kid
Survival of a Young Thief
By Kenneth Kahn
From the Projects to the Penthouse
As the only Jewish family in the Ramona Gardens housing projects, Kenny tells the spellbinding story of being the oldest child of two small-time carnival thieves who make their living as traveling gypsies and then graduate to dealing heroin from their cockroach-infested apartment. It's an inside view of carnival life, of living in a cocaine-selling "shooting gallery" apartment and of surviving a gang-dominated existence in one of L.A.'s worst neighborhoods.
It's also a story of the grit and determination of one small child, a child named Kenny Kahn, who saw education and hard work as the golden path and the only sure way to escape his tortured environment.
Mr. Kahn has written his story in plain language in order to make it easily readable not only adults but by young people who feel trapped by their "delinquent" parents, and to offer hope for escaping to a better life.
This poignant memoir of Kahn's childhood in the projects and the training his substance-abusing parents provided him to become a carnival hustler takes many twists and turns.