Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L. A.

Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L. A.

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Overview

The award-winning and bestselling classic memoir about a young Chicano gang member surviving the dangerous streets of East Los Angeles, now featuring a new introduction by the author.

Winner of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, hailed as a New York Times notable book, and read by hundreds of thousands, Always Running is the searing true story of one man’s life in a Chicano gang—and his heroic struggle to free himself from its grip.

By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East Los Angeles gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests and then watched with increasing fear as gang life claimed friends and family members. Before long, Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation.

Achieving success as an award-winning poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more—until his young son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in Always Running, a vivid memoir that explores the motivations of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants.

At times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, Always Running is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-earned lesson for the next generation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743276917
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 09/06/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 23,236
Product dimensions: 8.38(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

The son of Mexican immigrants, Luis J. Rodriguez began writing in his early teens and has won national recognition as a poet, journalist, fiction writer, children's book writer, and critic. Currently working as a peacemaker among gangs, Rodriguez helped create Tia Chucha's Café & Centro Cultural, a multiarts, multimedia cultural center in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Visit him at LuisJRodriguez.com.

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Guide
Always Running
Luis J. Rodriguez
1. Luis Rodriguez relates the events that led his family from Ciudad Juarez to Los Angeles. What do you think the events that surround his father's coming to the United States say about the immigration experience? How do you think such a history could influence the self-perception of the locos and other Mexican kids — as well as the way Anglos perceive them?
2. The yearly battle, "the Tradition," seems to help reinforce the identity of the groups involved. Why do you think this tradition could be reassuring to both groups, even though it centers on violence? What does each group get out of it?
3. Luis reflects on the power of prejudice in this way: "If you came from the Hills, you were labeled from the start...Already a thug. It was harder to defy this expectation than just to accept it....Why not make it your own?" (p. 84). What are some examples of Luis and others making the stereotypes and prejudices "their own"? Do you think Luis's logic is empowering or self-defeating? Why?
4. Always Running gives many examples of how the violence between Sangra and Las Lomas is constantly renewed. Do you think this cycle of vengeance could be broken? If so, how?
5. Discuss Luis's near-death experience and attempted suicide? How were these two events connected to his officially becoming a Lomas loco during the same period?
6. Did the community centers affect gang life? If so, how? Discuss the influence of community center organizers Chente Ramirez and Sal Basuto in the life of some of the gang members — do you think more of these centers could alleviate the problem of gang violence? Why or why not?
7. Why do you think drug use was so prevalent in the communities Luis describes? Compare and contrast the different roles drugs played in the lives of the residents of these communities.
8. Discuss the role of women in Luis' life. How does he treat them? What do you think shaped his attitude towards women — the media? In his community? In his family life?
9. What role did politics and politicians play in Luis' life? Do you think political organizations were more effective than the many religious groups who also converged on the barrio?
10. The power of expression plays an integral role in Luis's journey, both in terms of personal growth and in terms of becoming a voice for an underrepresented community. Is there a difference between art as an expression of an individual and art as an expression of a culture? Is one more valuable than the other?

Customer Reviews

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Always Running 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 114 reviews.
johnny82678 More than 1 year ago
I am from a low-income neighborhood in NorCal and this was the first book I ever read. Thank you, Mr. Lenoble, my English teacher. I grew up around gangs-nortenos in my area- and this book does by no means glorify that gang lifestyle. Because this book allows the reader an in-depth omni perspective into Luis' mind, you feel his fear and desperation. Thank you Luis for trying to turn kids away from this gang crap.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The opinion paper by: Cristian g. In the book Always Running Luis j. Rodriguez is an astonishing writer because of his truthfulness and his use of wonderful slang. He expresses himself in ways no one has dared to try. His story starts off with him being the son of two Mexican immigrants and a brother to many siblings. In the book he describes how he lives in L.A in a very small house with two parents and several brothers and sisters. Very early in the book he is faced with gang related things and joins a gang. He grows up and goes into his teenage years but at the same time he gets more involved into the gangster lifestyle. He attends parties, robberies, shoot outs, gang meeting. Luis is a very talented author and writer and he shares his experience with us as he grows up in all the gang violence and the political and racial differences in which those times were many. In this book we are exposed to learning how Mr.Rodriguez change his life by taking what little things he had and knew and changing them into tremendous and wonderful things. His use of Spanish word make the book more interesting than it already is. The readers that are now reading this book learn how hard it was to walk on certain streets or to go to certain parks without with people looking at them wrong because of their skin color .They learn that the problems that they have now aren’t as half as bad as what people back in the day had. After years in the gang life Luis starts realizing that he has a purpose in life and he started changing his attitude. Now Luis is a very respected man and role model to most teenage boys and girls. He goes to schools and talks to teenagers all over the country. His book shows that you can start off with little and end up with a whole bunch. Instead of being respected for what he did wrong, he got more respect for what he did right. This book is a great read and would recommend it for grades seventh and up. 
jesus_p More than 1 year ago
Always Running by Luis J Rodriguez is a novel that captures the truth about gang life in L.A in the decades of the 60’s and 70’s. Throughout the novel the character seems to always be running from all of his problems as he is surrounded by many of them. As you are reading a movie is being portrayed in your mind throughout the whole book. The author uses a thousand words to describe the intense situations and what he witnessed happening from the start of his childhood to his teens. This novel informs of the tragedies that have happened to the people that have were involved in felonies. It informs about the corruption with the police and they had a lot to do with people from different gangs. The police would tell one gang that the other said that they were weak; this made gangs want to fight each other. Due to all of the things that were wrong in the community dealing with the fear of the police and rival gangs Rodriguez was also having family problems, he would intoxicate himself to try to forget about everything. To take easy way out he thought that by committing suicide would end it all. After trying to commit suicide he realizes that’s the right thing to do.
Dominic_Murcielago More than 1 year ago
Always Running is a great book. The book tells a story of an immigrant, rising from the bottom, that is well written. This was a great read and an inspiring story.
Lilly_14 More than 1 year ago
Always Running By: Luis J. Rodriguez is a fabulous novel. Always Running tells a story about Gangs down in L.A. and how you can live to overcome the bad influences. The story is about the author growing up; He comes to live in L.A. and is raised there. He is constantly beat down by his brother and as he gets older other gangs. In his life he constantly moves in and out of homes because of the loss of money. He is in and out of trouble with the cops and has gone to jail. In the end, the book tells you how he overcame all the issues and bad influences. I highly recommend this book to young adults and adults because of the sense of passion in his writing; also how he writes a purpose. The author convinces you that life is hard and unexpected but if you live through it and accept life’s challenges. You will be fine. My overall rating of this book is excellent. Always Running kept me on edge till the very last word! Hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!
steff_22 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Always Running" by Luis Rodriguez is a book that caught my attention because of the picture. Its about a family who is poor. They have to move from place to place and sometimes even sleep in the car. This family goes through a lot. Mexicans at this time are discriminated against by whites. There's a lot of violence that goes on in this family's life. Mexicans made they're own small groups called gangs til this day. So one day one of the sons joins a gang by the name of "Las Lomas" and he would get into a lot of trouble and do drugs. Then one day his teacher came to his house to talk to him and help out. After the talk he had with his teacher he realizes a lot and starts to do better. He got a better education and started writing poetry and he liked it so he kept writing it. Then he graduated from college, started to make his life and got married and had a baby boy. Since he was going to be a daddy he needed to get out of the gang before anything. So when your in a gang its very difficult to get out but they let him out easily. From there he started to live his life as a daddy with his wife and son. I like this book because I can kind of relate to some of the things. Like his mom being a babysitter, my moms a babysitter. Also, how his parents are immigrants, mine are immigrants as well. I can relate to some of the things that have happen in his life. I love this book because I have relatives that have gone through the exact same thing. I learned that people haveharder life then us. I like how he uses both English and Spanish. I recommend this book to everyone and I know for a fact most people will love it if you know can relate.
0912katie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First, I wanted to read a Chicano book even though Aim not a Chicano I like reading from Spanish-speaking writers and their personal experiences because from where I come from we speak Spanish too. So I chose ¿Always running¿ by Luis Rodriguez because the title underneath the main title got my attention. It said ¿La Vida loca Gangs days in L.A.¿. I was always interested on books like that, books that you maybe could relate to your own life. From my life, I cannot relate it to but I could relate it to people around me especially my neighborhood. This book has a lot of violence, discrimination coming from the police department and white people. This book shows how the Mexicans formed their small groups, which later on called ¿gangs¿. They formed their groups because they wanted to fit in. He gets into a lot of trouble and drugs. One day this teacher came to his house and helped him, go to school and get a better education. He starts writing poetry and he likes it. He graduates and goes to college and gets marry and has a baby boy but before that, he needs to forget his ¿Barrio¿ and he does but he is scared because when you are in is hard to get out. He was lucky to get out safely but still remembers what he has lived and what he saw during those years being part of ¿Las Lomas¿. I love how the author blends two languages together in the book which makes it more interesting to read because it adds some Spanish flavor in the story, and you are learning how the Mexicans were treated back then in the 60s, 70s and 80s and how that changed over the years. In addition, the author descriptive way of describing the events makes it better to picture the event in your head and actually feel like you are watching what is happening. I highly recommend this book because you learn a lot from it and you are going to love it after finishing it.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is on the ALA's list of 100 most frequently banned books of 1990 through 2000.This is a memoir of gang life & of growing up poor and Chicano in East LA in the '60's & 70's. It's also about learning who you are and finding ways out - through writing, through painting, & through social activism.Rodriguez is primarily a poet and writer of short stories & it shows in this collection of snap shots of moments from his past. For those wanting a standard tale with a classical throughline and neat conclusions, this book will disappoint.I enjoyed the author's imagery and the ways he plays with the genre of memoir. What is memory? What do we remember? How do we remember it? For me so much of my memory is just what he provides - little snapshots of moments in time.From a political/social perspective, this book does a good job of elucidating the reasons kids join gangs and the possible paths out. He talks about gangs as a kind of mass suicide & that's an idea that stuck with me - all these kids looking for family & hating themselves.In one of those funny moments where influences collide that can happen while reading, I kept thinking of another gang memoir that I read when I was younger. I remembered that it was written by a Puerto Rican guy that grew up in Spanish Harlem & was also about all of the ways that books saved him, but I couldn't remember the name of the book. It was right there on the tip of my tongue. I could remember that the author was named Piri, but that was all. Then I turned a page & there it was - Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas - turns out Luis Rodriguez read that one, too.This book is also full of shades of Sandra Cisneros - a Chicana writer & poet whose work I've read off & on since her first book - The House on Mango Street. Like Cisneros, Rodriguez' work is full of rhythm & bright color.I liked this book a great deal, although I don't think it offers any long-term solutions to these problems. Like The Corner, David Simon's killer tome on life on a Baltimore drug corner, this book illustrates the condition. Perhaps education really is the only way out, but to get there we're going to have to spend some money & stop using our educational system to ghettoize people based on class, race, income level, & the phase of the moon on Fridays when the cat's too tired to sing.The world is a complex & beautiful place & in the end maybe only words can save us.
stunik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
adult situations (sex, language, violence); needs parental permission
nm.fall07.r.sosa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a guy that grows up in the ghetto east L.A. where he see's alot of violence, murder, gang fights and alot of things that a kid wouldn't normally see. He goes to sckoola nd themstarts to write poetry. He likes and is a very good writer. Then he tries to get out of the barrio because he knoes that if he stays he will get killed or locked up in jail. He does move. He has a baby boy that when he is a teen jumps into a gang and gets into a lot of trouble.
23eris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is highly recommended. This personal account about the author's formative years in the Los Angeles barrios is extremely detailed and descriptive. His artful blend of English and Spanish words add flavor to the narrative.His depiction of Los Angeles in the 60s, 70s and 80s serve to illustrate how much the city has changed, yet highlights where we still need to improve. The recent police action in early 2007 against protesters in MacArthur Park comes to mind...
mana_tominaga on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lyrical prose captures the violence and trauma of East L.A. gang warfare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not personally read this book myself. I purchased this book for my son who is currently in jail. He said it was a great book and a real eye opener and he would recommend this book to others. He is trying to stay positive and feels like this is a great for others that are have are headed in the wrong direction.
K_Jax More than 1 year ago
As a Black-American, I have been focused on the unfair and brutal treatment of Blacks at the hands of whites in America. It was a change of perception to read about the gross treatment of Chicanos at the hands of whites in America. Rodriguez’s stories of his childhood are synonymous to the heart wrenching stories I read, today, about the mistreatment of black youth in schools and by police officers. “Always Running” is written for the socially aware, world changing audience. It is not for the reader who enjoys happy endings and a release from the real world. Upon finishing this book, I felt a renewed sense of purpose and call for action.
Eric2201 More than 1 year ago
Always Running This autobiography Always Running, by Luis J. Rodriguez about his life being born in East LA, and the bad decisions he made because of the influences he had. The autobiography shows Luis being brave, intelligent, caring, yet also crazy. Luis has a lot of trouble around his environment, because of the people living there. However, Luis does try to change his life near the end. A way he does that is he gets a job delivering the newspaper, and he applies to a continuation high school, and he tries to make his parents proud. Along the way, Luis also makes bad choices, like beating people, fighting, and shooting people, he does all this for his gang. Luis realizes he is getting in trouble, for the fault of his gang, but he doesn’t want to admit it. Another reason this book influences people, might be the fact that through all the ups, and downs Luis has to go through he doesn’t show weakness, he just stays strong. He did that, because he knows showing weakness gives people a chance to put him down. Who Luis overall as a person, best described as a teenager who is struggling to find out what he wants to do with his life, and also faces gang related troubles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was intriguing and always had your mind thinking about what could go wrong. Always Running is a writing combining some of the history in gang life and a young boy’s life story being involved in these gangs. Luis Rodriguez grew up in a struggling home of many children and argumentative parents. As a child it was difficult for him and his siblings to stay out of trouble. After moving around many times and crossing the boarder from Mexico to the United States the family ended in Las Angeles, California. Right away Luis got involved in gang related events. As he entered his teen years, he had already been a part of fights, break-ins, shootings and many other destructive incidents. As he grew older, peers and significant persons in his life did as much as they could to break him from his unhealthy habits related to his gang he was a part of. He soon realized he had a better life meant for him and went around to schools teaching them about what he went through and how if he could go back again he would think twice about the decisions he made. This is where this book came from. He told of writing a book during the story. This book was very graphic in it’s descriptions of some of the circumstances the boys took place in. Although the descriptions were somewhat disturbing, they were real eye openers. They painted an image in my head that I will never forget and I will always remember the pain that those people felt. It proved that these shootings and rapes are all real and are a very serious matter in the world. Luis Rodriguez described many incidents where he really did not want to be involved. He ended up in these situations mainly because of peer pressure. He didn’t want to hurt his reputation with his friends and those around him. This is a huge role in our world today. Every child faces these decisions under these conditions. This book shows the bad side of the decisions. you could tell Rodriguez wrote this book with passion and meaning. He had a message to convey to his young and even to the world that there is always a better choice and there is almost always a way out if you start to travel down the wrong path. One thing that was really displeasing about this book was, some of the easiest words were spelled incorrectly, as if in slang. Although this way of writing showed how little education these families received it was very irritating and something that really stood out to me. Overall I really enjoyed this book. It really made me think and realize what others are going through. Now I know what it’s like in the shoes of a gang member and I am thankful that I didn’t choose that path for my life.
KelseyJohn808 More than 1 year ago
Always Running is an inspiring book about the struggles that a young boy experiences when he is sucked into the gang scene. The book is heart wrenching to read because of the innocence that Rodriguez and his friends lost so early on. Their early experiences with violence and drugs will shock you. For readers who have direct experience with gangs this book eliminates all the glamour that you might associate with being in a gang. Rodriguez speaks from his heart and from his mind at the time of the story and the reader can really get an understanding for the pressure that many young boys are under to join their peers in gangs. I could feel the sense of urgency that Rodriguez felt to find a way to protect himself and he sought protection in numbers by joining in on “la vida loca.” I really appreciated Rodriguez’s voice as a narrator because I could tell that his words were sincere. He wrote the book in order to show his son the dangerous life he will face if he continues down the gang path. Because Rodriguez is so passionate and genuine in what he is writing, this book is very effective in the fatherly message it is trying to convey. If I was a parent and was worried about my son I would have him read this book before he goes too far down the wrong path.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Things Fall Apart is the most interesting and amazing book I've ever read. From the time when Luis, a Mexican boy growing up in the burbs of L.A., was just a boy to the time when he was a young man in high school, his story never ceases to amaze. When he was a boy him and his older brother Rano would fight with each other and "play around". Apparently to Rano, playing around meant pushing Luis of the roof and getting in fights at school. By the time Luis was in middle school, he was sexually active, already experimenting with drugs, and Rano was dead due to a fall through a skylight at the elementary school. Luis had it tough enough being of color in a prejudice 1960's community; doing it while in the gang and doing drugs made it even harder. Luis was thrown out of school multiple times and got in many fights including one that broke his jaw which never healed correctly giving him the nick-name "chin". By the time he was a senior in high school, he was done experimenting with drugs, trying to kick the gang life, and was the head or an organization which helped kids in the gang and tried to change the appearance of the community. Luis had really turned his life around. The reason I love this book so much is because it is the only book that has ever captured my attention fully; it's the only book I've ever wanted to read. The way Luis tells his story is with such passion and detail that you feel like your right there beside him. He has such a way with words that you feel his pain or sadness or anger. Many times throughout the book I just wanted to hit something because I was so mad about what happened to him and the way Chicanos and Latinos were treated. Luis goes through so much that you just feel sorry for him. Luis's story will go down as one of the greatest survivor and fighter stories I've ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Always Running is about a Latino boy named Luis who grows up in a tough gang-infested neighborhood. Luis joins a few gangs while watching and feeling the intense effects that the violence can have on people. Eventually he begins to create school and neighborhood groups for his Latino peers to try and stop the gang violence and give the Latino people the respect and rights they deserve. In the book it has many life lessons that the author experienced throughout his life. This lesson Luis learns completely changes his life around and transforms Luis from a fierce gang-banger into a role model to all in society. It gives courage and strength to anybody who is the underdog in a situation. Luis pushes through the harsh conditions of his environment to achieve what he set his goals to never giving in or settling for what life gave him. All he did was refuse to step down and instead go the extra mile, where none of his peers had gone before. I highly recommend the book to anybody over the age of 13 because it does have some pretty graphic and descriptive scenes throughout the book so it is not a good fit for young readers. The extremely descriptive flow of the story makes the reader feel the pain, depression and triumph that Luis experienced in the book. It captivated and caught my attention once I got into the book and is easily one of the better ones I have read in quite a while. The book was also inspiring to me because it made me want to become a strong leader character in my own life like Luis. I also loved the purpose of the story and how it was meant for Luis's son and to guide him in the direction that Luis took. I give it a perfect 5 out of 5 stars because it was an all-around great book. The style of writing put you right in the ghetto setting and emotional situations of the book. It also has a great flow of the timeline within the story never droning on or leaving a scene not described enough. The book never falls short on word choice and gives all the characters separate personalities to have a wide variety of people in the book. This is in the top 5 books I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always running tells the life story of Luis J. Rodriquez, who had for most of his life growing up being involved in multiple gangs. He grew up surrounded by gangs in Chicago, when his family packed up and moved to Los Angeles, California, his gang days were just getting started. He struggled with his family especially his brother who was fighting most of the time. When he moved to LA he became involved in multiple violent gangs. By the young age of twelve he was an experienced member of street gang warfare. He explains that when involved in a gang it is hard to get out of the gang. Once you're in, you're in. Rodriquez shows the darker side of white America, a side that most people would rather not read about, by explaining how he dealt with racism. He was always a victim of racism either by the cops, his teachers or even classmates at school. Whereas the book was written magnificently, there are graphic descriptions of the gang's actions towards other people. Intentionally or un-intentionally while writing the book Rodriquez exposed the faults of gangs, and also the faults of individuals and society as a whole. The book tells the story that an individual can leave a life behind and triumph over society. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the way that the book was written, it is practically flawless. I especially like the way that the book reads like a fiction but is actually a non-fiction. The graphic portions of the book make it an adult read only, but if anybody is looking for an excellently written book, then I highly recommend Always running.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez is a great auto-biography about the hardships and terrors of the gang life in LA. As a kid Luis was mistreated by everyone be it his brother or his teachers. His life at school was always hard because he couldn't relate to anyone. Soon he found the gangs as his only form of family and once he got mixed into the gangs it was nearly impossible to leave. Though he was a talented writer and artist Rodriguez never had an oppurtunity to show his true talents until he met a person who got out of gangs named Chente. Chente was able to show Luis how terrible gangs really were. Once Luis got over the terrors of gangs he was able to flourish in the real world. Though this is a great book that is definitely worth reading it is not for children. This story is extremely graphic but it is only detailed because it has to be in order to show how gang life really is. Throughout the book Rodriguez is able to convey the wrongs not only about gangs but of society as well. The book really shows the ghastly ways of rich white America. Rodriguez recalls his life being full of racist comments from not only teenagers but adults and teachers at his school. The worst part of the racist part of the book was about the police men in the innercity. It is stated that the police were like there own gang where as they thrived off of beating up the latinos and arresting them for no reason. In my opinion this is an exceptional book that is a must read. The book is at some points very hard to read just because it is so real. But in the end it is very redeeming not only for the reader but for other young individuals who are in the gang life. I really liked part of the book was when Luis made the change from a harsh and mean gang member to a sweet and simple young man. I also enjoyed when he stood up to society because he wasn't going to be pushed around anymore by people who thought they were better then him. In my opinion the book was the closet thing there is to flawless. The only thing that I didn't enjoy in the book was having to look at the glossary when the characters would use slang words in Spanish. Overall, this book was a perfect 10 in my mind. So if your ever looking for a real book that is a great read and you can deal with the graphic portion of the book I highly recommend Always Running.
badassbookreader More than 1 year ago
Always Running is the amazing true story about life in a gang and getting out. With love, loyalty, and action this story is a captivating account of the hardships involved in gang life. Perseverance is prominent throughout the whole book, jumping out of pages and forcing you to feel the struggle of the unchosen fate of many of the men with neglected lives. Starting life with pristine conditions may have altered the outcome for many gang associates. After starting down the road most traveled, the only thing that would help Luis now would be himself, and some serious change. This book is not only graphic in the details of which Rodriguez recalls his past, but also uplifting in his triumphs. Being from the suburbs with rows of houses mimicking one another with Desperate Housewives perfectionism emanating from each household with wives at home with kids, cooking in the kitchen, I can't really say I can relate with his tales of murder at a young age and hardcore drug use under bridges. But that is the appeal of this story to me. Diving into a world of unknown experience without scrambling my brains and being locked up sitting on a bench wearing the most unflattering orange. I could also see the appeal of this story for people who have been in those experiences though. Seeing how one man conquered the odds is inspiring to many to get themselves out of their own difficult circumstances. The only difficulty in reading this book was the use of Spanish words within the text. Flipping to the glossary in the back of the book was very time consuming in my effort to understand what was going on in the story. If you are in the search for a nonfiction story that reads more like a piece of fiction and keeps your attention page to page then this book is for you. From the beginning of the story you fall in love with the character, keeping you reading just to find out what happens next, hoping for the best. Luis Rodriguez evoked fear and deep thought within me. My experiences nowhere near compare to his but it did make me reflect on my own life, helping me to find the courage to persist through the tough situations. Appreciation for my own life was also a result of reading this heartfelt tale. The differences between lives cannot overpower the universal themes that this story expresses. This book may not be for all ages but it is for all people, because everyone has hardships. Everyone has a story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
katreina More than 1 year ago
This capitivating book is about Luis J. Rodriguez and his life through his big life change, crossing the border to live in america. Luis and his family needed more money, so they moved to L.A. where his father became a school teacher, forcing Luis to attend school, without knowing how to speak much english. Luis soon realized that he was much different from the other kids, he was ignored, treated like he was ignorant because of the language barier and picked on. Throught out his whole life he learned that he was different. then came a major turning point in Luis' life , he joined a gang. By his ate teens luis saw more than most teens haven't seen from beating, to murder to arrests, gang life was not the road Luis wanted to go down. This book was written for his son, Ramiro, and any other teens involved in gangs. This book shows the impact of gang life and how it claims and impacts the people around it.