In the Margins Top Fiction Award, 2015: How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
In the Margins Top Non-Fiction Award, 2015: Left for Dead by Ebony Canion
2015 In the Margins Top Ten List
Butler, Pacc. From God’s Monster to the Devil’s Angel. CreateSpace. January 2014. 170p. PB $14.95. ISBN 9781494771669. Gang life seems like Butler’s only choice when he becomes homeless in Chicago at 16. Abandoned by his drug-addict mother and viciously abused by his father, he played football as a child to escape the horror of his home life, but as a young man he learns to dull his pain by hurting others. How can a man raised by fear and violence grow into a loving husband, father, and mentor to others?
Canion, Ebony. Left for Dead. Life Changing Books. February 2014. 228p. PB $15.99. ISBN 9781934230596. Canion survives financial hardship, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and young widowhood, but nothing prepares her for the vicious hit and run that nearly takes her life. When everyone expects her to die, she not only survives but becomes dedicated to helping others find the courage to overcome difficulties in their own lives. Even when the woman who tried to kill her shows no remorse and is given no jail time, Canion refuses to allow bitterness to rule her life.
Ewing, Lynne. The Lure. Balzer + Bray. February 2014. 288p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780062206886. Brutally initiated into the gang, Blaise isexpected to do increasingly dangerous activities including being a "lure" to entice rival gang members. A fast paced contemporary drama that asks, what are the right decisions when all the options are wrong?
Little, Ashley. Anatomy of a Girl Gang. Arsenal Pulp. May 2014. 254p. PB $16.95. ISBN 9781551525297. Five multi-cultural girls join together to form the Black Roses, determined to create an organization that is theirs and that will work for them - where all of them are taken care of, belong, protected, and benefit. But dreams don’t always come true, especially in the real world.
Magoon, Kekla. How It Went Down. Henry Holt. October 2014. 336 p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780805098693. 16-year-old Tariq Johnson is dead: a young black boy shot by a white man. Witnessed by many in the neighborhood, and told in multiple points of view, everyone has an opinion and explanation of "how it went down." This timely story depicts the confusion, challenge and politics of perception and racial stereotyping.
Miles, Michelle. The High Price I Had to Pay 2: Sentenced to 30 Years as a Nonviolent, First Time Offender. Voices International. November 2013. 66p. PB $7.99. ISBN9780991104109. How does a young woman find herself serving 30 years for a nonviolent crime? This all-too-common story manifests itself in the life of Michelle Miles who followed her boyfriend into a life of drug dealing. When it all falls apart, Miles finds herself facing a seemingly endless sentence.
Reynolds, Jason. When I Was the Greatest. Atheneum. January 2014. 240p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9781442459472. Friends + bad choices = deadly circumstances. When Ali and his friends land an invite to an off-limits party that is so under the radar you can’t even hear the music from the street, it’s just too good to be true. An innocent misstep leads to total chaos and causes the dangers from the streets to almost destroy friendship and family. A fresh debut that captures the heart and soul of life for an urban teen who is trying to make the right choices.
Wilson, Rayshawn. Lionheart: Coming from Where I’m From. Legendary Publishing. August 2014. 196p. PB $15.00. ISBN 9780982786321. Growing up on the streets of Columbus, Ohio, Wilson learns that survival means knowing how to lie and steal. At the age of 6, he is traumatized as he watches the police arrest his crack-addicted mother. Foster care, sexual abuse, and life on the streets lead Wilson to prison, ironically for a felony he did not commit. His resilience, hard work and determination earn him his graduation from college and other accomplishments.
Workman, P.D. Ruby: Between the Cracks (Volume 1). PD Workman. February 2014. 486p. PB $16.90. ISBN 9780992153953. At 13, Ruby’s dramatic life is out of control. She’s been out on the streets for several years and rotates sleeping with her social worker, a friend, and the boy she likes above everyone. Things get worse when she gets pregnant by the rival gang member who killed her favorite boyfriend. Sometimes she is the victim, sometimes she is the user - who will Ruby choose to be?
Zusman, Angela Beth. The Griots of Oakland: Voices from the African American Oral History Project. Story for All. October 2013. 206p. HC $59.99. ISBN 9780988763111. PB $14.99. ISBN 978-0988763104. Got stereotypes? Get Griots. How do African American young men from Oakland, California define themselves? What’s important? What wisdom do they have to share? It’s all here in striking photographs, visually appealing graphics and short narratives. The hardback is of higher photographic quality, but the paperback makes the book accessible to everyone. The Oral History project that created this book can be replicated in other communities.
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Chair: Amy Cheney, Librarian, Juvenile Justice Center, Alameda County, CA
Administrative Assistant: Dr. Kerry Sutherland, Youth Services Librarian, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH
Project Assistant: Mackenzie Magee, English teacher, Passages Academy, NY
Sabrina Carnesi, Librarian, Crittenden Middle School, VA
Dale Clark, Teacher-Librarian, Fraser Park Secondary, Burnaby Youth Custody Services, Burnaby, BC Canada
Joe Coyle, Project Coordinator, Mix IT Up!, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
Marvin DeBose Sr., Library Supervisor, Free Library of Philadelphia, PA
Maggie Novario, Teen Librarian, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, WA
Amy Wander, Youth Services Manager, Lafayette Public Library, LA
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