Temil is an outgoing young lady who attended Dunbar HS when she authored her books. Temil is likes to run track and to cheer. She is intelligent and athletic. Her favorite subject is math. She likes to write action and drama. Temil wrote her first book with Shout Mouse, Trinitoga, in seventh grade. She was in ninth grade when she wrote The Day Tajon Got Shot, and in tenth grade when she wrote Spanky the Pup: All Dogs Must Go.
BOOKS BY TEMIL:
2017 INDIES Winner for Young Author (17 and Under)
2018 Top Fiction Winner - In the Margins Book Awards
Tajon is sixteen and black. He's tall and skinny, and he has dreadlocks. Tajon works hard and tries his best to be good. He does O.K. in school. He has plans. He's determined.
Tajon is the kind of son who cares about his family. He's the kind of brother who stands up for his sister. He's the kind of kid who dreams big dreams to get himself and those he loves up and out of the hood.
Tajon is the one who gets shot.
Meet the Authors
In March 2015, ten teen girls from Beacon House in Washington, DC started writing a novel during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. They began with one central question: What really happens in a community when a black youth is the victim of violence by police? How are those lives affected? Each writer takes on the perspective of a central character – the victim, the police officer, the witness, the parent, the friend, the officer's kids – and examines how it feels to be a human being on all sides of this event. Their stories thoughtfully explore issues of race, violence, loyalty, and justice in a community torn apart but seeking connection.
by Abreona, Darrin, Rochelle, and Temil of Reach Incorporated
Closing Day is coming to the animal shelter, and “All Dogs Must Go.” Spanky, who was born with just three legs, is both excited and terrified: Does this mean he will finally be adopted? Spanky’s abandonment as a pup have left him with a deep desire to be loved, and his worries sometimes make him feel hopeless. While Pepper the mean chihuahua tries to tear him down, Dorothy the friendly pit bull tries to cheer him up. Can she help Spanky learn to be his own lovable self and finally get adopted?
by the authors of Beacon House
"Take a step outside and look... You’ll see trash, you’ll see smoking, you’ll see drug dealing, fighting and killing. A lot of people live there, like a whole bunch of vienna sausages in a square can. Some people are bad, but some are good... It’s a roughed up hood, but we all got tough love for each other."
So begins Trinitoga, a novel-in-stories by middle-school authors of Beacon House. These young writers created a fictionalized neghborhood and populated it with an endearing and heartbreaking cast of characters, not unlike people they have encountered in their own lives.
We begin with "Shoota," the gun-wielding "King of the Hood" whose transformation we witness from a sweet and trusting 8-year-old boy to a hardened angry man deserving of his nickname. We meet the mother of his children, Baquisha, who cares about her kids and tells them to do the right thing, but can't set a good example herself. We meet their kids--Rude Boy, Rude Girl, and Tianna--all of whom struggle between love and disappointment and anger in their relationships with their parents and with each other. We meet grandmothers who do right by their grandkids, and friends who stick up for each other, and characters of all ages determined to do better: for their loved ones and for themselves. The result is an emotionally charged and psychologically astute exploration of what it means to grow up in a place like Trinitoga, told from the perspective of highly astute 11- and 12-year-old observers.
This book is powerful. The characters are complex. The conflicts are recognizable and searingly raw. Although these characters face daily stress and trauma that takes its toll, they all want desperately for something better. That yearning is what breaks your heart, gives you hope, and keeps you turning the page.
The teen tutors of Reach Incorporated noticed that few children's books reflected their reality. They decided to do something about that: they wrote their own. Now these teens have written eight original books, and are diversifying children's literature, one smart-fun-real-brave-bold story at a time. Learn more.
Beacon House is an after-school education and youth development organization serving children and families in the greater Edgewood neighborhood of Northeast Washington, DC. Beacon House’s mission is to provide children in and around Edgewood with a safe, nurturing, life expanding community in which to increase their academic achievement, discover their talents, and grow into healthy adults who achieve their greatest potential. Its programs focus on closing the education achievement gap - and thus improving the economic trajectories - of children in Ward 5 for whom generational poverty is most persistent. Learn more.
This is a powerful and unusual compilation of viewpoints about the intersection of race and criminal justice from the pens of these ten female teen authors. If it is not already, their conversation should be our conversation, as we support this new generation’s fight for civil rights in 21st century USA.
It is an ambitious, book told by multiple authors in different literary forms (Prose, tweets, poetry…) and POV from people all sides of the discussion. It is heart-stoppingly powerful in places and so very timely. Because of the multiple teen voices it also feels very present, in the now, as though I am on the street listening in on conversations. With such a charged topic they achieve that fine balance of the complexity of perspectives while honoring the loss of the innocent, and the righteous anger of the bereaved.
In all the pain of racial injustice and the call to social change, this book celebrates courageous writing, and the voice of teens everywhere. We need to listen to them. I look forward to more stories from this publisher.
-Joanna Marple, book blogger
When I opened the envelope and saw the book that I was to review, my immediate response was “yes.” The Young Adult novel, “The Day Tajon Got Shot,” is why I have been involved with Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) for the past three years.
The story, written during the onset of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, has the readers journey with Tajon on the day he was shot and killed by a police officer. Over eight days, we see the impact that the shooting has on Tajon’s family, his best friend, the police officer and his family, and the actual eyewitness. It highlights issues of race relations, domestic violence, drug abuse, and poverty to make us realize that everyone is impacted when a life is taken.
The collaboration between the coaches and mentors at Beacon House, Shootback and Shout Mouse Press, is an impressive model on how to provide children and teens a safe space and avenues to express themselves. As you turn the pages of the book, you can feel in their words, art work, poetry and photography that they have been empowered to share their voices in the midst of societal chaos. I love the way the book reads and feels like a graphic novel.
I would recommend this book as required reading for teachers, students, parents, community leaders, or anyone who wants to foster a conversation about strengthening their communities. After a destructive night protesting, Kayla, one of the characters in the book and who is Tajon’s best friend, realizes that anger may have gotten the best of her. She “decided to take the next sunrise as a rebirth, to show myself as someone who helps the community, not hurts it.” (page 61)
After reading the book, these young people have challenged me as writer to strive to always have my authentic voice on, so others can #ReadYourWorld and defy silence.
-Phyllis Cremer, reviewer for Multicultural Children's Book Day
So. Over the past few years we’ve had lots of great books come through the pipeline outlining and assessing moments of police violence, including The Hate U Give @angiethomas , Dear Martin @getnicced , Tyler Johnson Was Here @jaycoles, Anger Is A Gift @markdoesstuff, Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes, All American Boys me and @brendankiely and I’m sure I’m missing a few. But this one, The Day Tajon Got Shot, coming through @shoutmousepress has been written BY teen girls! I could go on and on about how cool, honest, and brilliant it is, but I won’t. Read the jacket copy. Lol. But the basic premise is, all the young people wrote a perspective to create a multi-layered view of an unfortunate incident. I know there are critiques about writing pain (in excess), specifically as it pertains to black children. But no one can deny the value of them using writing to work through their own, on their own terms. Shouts to Kathy Crutcher and the good folks at Shout Mouse for putting the pen, and the power in the hands of the kids. All the love.
-Jason Reynolds, award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of All American Boys, the Track series, Long Way Down, Miles Morales: Spider Man, and more.
I think this has been one of my favorite books in the past seven months, because when I picked it up to read, back in September, it was right before grad class and so good, I couldn't stop the sneaky reading throughout class. When class was over, I literally set in the parking garage and finished the story because I probably would have pulled off the highway to finish the book, I was so stoked. The hooks to this story hypnotized me!
I liked the idea of having each of the ten authors take the point of view of a character. The graphics throughout the book added to the story.
This book is written by teens in the DC area who workshopped the first full-length novel published by Shout Mouse Press. I want their workshops and inspirations to continue endlessly, especially if they're going to produce such heartfelt and well-thought-out, emotionally searing works as this one.
While police brutality catches peoples attention, the young girls that wrote this book use the opportunity to get justice and stop police brutality.This is set by 2017 or even this year, The Day Tajon Got Shot is like being a witness of that day being told by these amazing storytellers and just the reality of the gun violence and with the timing like the other day the March for our Lives it puts me in the scene of just seeing something like this happen last year or even yesterday.