- A to Z: The Real DC
- Airplane Effect
- How To Grow Up Like Me
- Khalil's Swagtown Adventure
- One Lonely Camel
- Our Lives Matter
- Out of Breath: Kendra's Big Secret
- Taking Down Ms. Moody
- The Airplane Effect
- The Day Tajon Got Shot
- The Gloomy Light
- The Untold Story of the Real Me
- Time for Change
- Trio + One
- Untold Story
- Voces Sin Fronteras
- blue spark
- the hoodie hero
'Voces sin Fronteras' is a graphic novel-style book of 32 short stories documenting hardships Latinx Immigrants faced in their home countries, as well as in the United States.
Ranging from the loss of family members who leave home for a better life, whether for employment or educational opportunities or to be closer to family members, they are the true stories of people who participated in the Latino Youth Leadership Council, part of the Columbia Heights-base nonprofit organization, the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC).
"Issues about immigration and its impact on families have been prominent in the current US political scene, with a gross amount of injustice and racism cast toward many people seeking asylum. This book is an excellent entry into this political conversation, with sixteen true accounts from the lives of young people who have come over from Latin American countries to live and find a better life in the United States. These adolescents are the Latino Youth Leadership Council of the Washington DC-based Latin American Youth Center, founded in 1968.”
The other day I arrived home to find waiting in the mailbox a weighty, Voces Sin Fronteras: Our Stories Our Truth. It proved not only weighty to the hand, but once I began peeling its pages back, weighty to the soul.
We love that this book paint such a rich portrait of DC culture from the eyes of its residents. The photos are great. I especially like that I can show my daughter some of the photos, and visit those places with her.
See! This book right here demonstrates how a movement should be constructed. Instead of focusing on the negative people within a community who often times get the publicity for their actions, it's best to demonstrate to others, especially minorities and those of low economic status, that there are individuals out there who are trying their best to change their outcome. Our lives matter showed me, a fellow African, that there are kids in inner cities who are going against the status quo of doing or selling drugs, getting pregnant or just not caring about life. It was refreshing and sad to see that some of these teens had to grow up quickly because of their parents and their situations.
I think the moral of this book is even if some kids are mean to you, a team sticks together and won’t let anyone down. I think the most meaningful line in the book is: “Then Kendra heard Elijah the Eagle shout ‘Let’s bring it home for Kendra.’ The rest of the teammates cheered. ‘We got you Kendra Kangaroo Helena shouted.'”
I felt so sad for the kangaroo – it is hard to keep a secret, especially one that has potential to embarrass you or negatively impact others and yourself. I was so glad she had found a trusting adult, her coach, to tell, and that she had one close friend to keep her going. I think this is a great book for pointing out ways to cope with stressful, maybe dangerous, situations.
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!
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.
I like the dedication, because it shows that this book meant to give people courage. I like that Asia, the hyena, said they have to work together to escape. I like that they used persistence to get out and to get the lion pack to not kill the hyenas. I like the hyenas peacefully protesting. The most meaningful line of the book is: “Mya stood up on her back legs and said ‘I might be young, but my voice matters.'” The other most meaningful line is: “We are tired of fighting all the time. It is not benefiting anyone, we need to come in peace.”
I thought the best part was when they stood together against the elders. We all hear a lot about working together and seeing people for who they are, but less about how hard it is to defend someone who is different than you to a group with known strong, dissenting opinions. Research says that bullying can be minimized if other kids try to stop it; that would certainly be easier to do if you were a united front as Asia and Mya are.
Here is an example of what does NOT and will probably NEVER get published by the majors.
This book is a critical piece of work that helps those who work with encouraging text engagement, for it was produced by youth who through poor literacy and life management in their worlds, suffer from huge gaps in their language skills.
This is a wonderful story with a crazy cast of characters that emphasizes the importance of healthy self-esteem, and not putting yourself at risk out of fear of what others may say. This book fills a gap by addressing the topic of asthma, which has a higher prevalence in low-income communities and among children of color. The authors recognize that children are often ashamed of health conditions and by writing this story, they encourage children not to shy away from talking about their own health conditions. Readers can learn that you shouldn’t assume or judge the words or actions of others.
Taking Down Ms. Moody by D.C. high school students, Rochelle Jones, Destiny Mayhew, and Naseem Roach, and illustrated by D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts graduate, Zoë Gatti, tells a story of students dealing with a difficult teacher.
The Hoodie Hero preaches the importance of confidence in one’s unique style, and the ability to stand up for one’s self and others. Unlike other hero stories, which may be more unrealistic, The Hoodie Hero sets a bar for hero status that feels achievable to young readers by the end of the book.
A to Z: The Real D.C. is an alphabetical compilation of D.C. essentials, portrayed through both pictures and words. From cliches like the national mall and Smithsonian to deeper cuts such as Kenilworth Gardens or cultural staples like Go-Go music, A to Z: The Real D.C. presents readers with a balance of state and culture, showcasing all that D.C. has to offer and leaving nothing untouched.
This is a thoughtful, illustrated book about children who can see the good in others and help them change. Max starts the story by saying "Being bad never felt so good. Evil runs in my family." His counterpart Ronnie believes "Goodness is in all of us. My family stands for justice." After wonderfully illustrated interactions between the two, Max is able to see the goodness in himself.
The poems are beautiful. This organization seems to really make a difference, helping young people articulate their frustrations and hopes, and channeling them into positive paths for their futures.
–"whyme," Amazon Reviewer
"We read One Lonely Camel today, and the kids really loved it. They gasped with shock (Larry's story really touched them), they giggled (at Tunechi's antics), and they roared their approval (the popular culture references). In short, it was a huge hit! When I asked who would give it 4 stars (our highest rating) all 20 hands shot up. I asked them why they liked it so much, and Akera said it best: "Those big kids wrote about things that all kids like, whether they're big or little."...Kam appreciated how the animals hid their sadness and seemed happy on the outside but were sad sometimes on the inside. Many of the kids thought that aspect of the book was really touching."
The common theme through “Our Lives Matter” is one of hope and determination. These teenagers refuse to be judged and pigeonholed, offering their stories to emphasize their differences, their commonalities, their dreams and their commitment to education and change. Through it all forms a thread of hope that the new generation will make the world a better place and fight the barriers that keep us separated.
–Louisiana Book News
After reading this book to my 20-month-old daughter last night, she looked at me and said "read it again!" An excellent pictorial representation of DC from A to Z, educational, fun, and kid approved. Great work Reach tutors/authors!
--Scott, amazon reviewer
I've read many A to Z picture books in my days, but what makes this one special is not only its photographs of D.C. landmarks, but also the creativity of the photographs. My favorite is "F" is for Frederick Douglas. Not only do the pages show pictures of the Frederick Douglas Historic Site, but a photo of what I presume is one of the book's authors "shaking hands" with the statue of Frederick Douglas. It's these sorts of shots that delight children and adults alike. The book's illustrations and verses also call out for the reader to discover D.C. destinations that have yet to be explored and to start planning on re-visiting more familiar ones. On some of the pages I can almost taste the food, hear the sounds of traffic, and smell the scents of animals and plants. The fact that this book was created by D.C. teens is just icing on the cake.
--Bookfan, amazon reviewer
Combining reality with fantasy (loved the purple broccoli trees!), this book takes on a tough real-life situation that many children find themselves in --- upset by parents arguing. It acknowledges a child's feelings while encouraging a child to talk to parents about those feelings. The story also acknowledges that many adults find themselves under stress, such as unemployment, which can contribute to parental figures having arguments over simple things. Most importantly though, the book offers hope that a child may have the power to enact change in the family dynamic. Written by 3 high-school age teens, I got the sense that at least one of the authors has witnessed the positive impact he/she has had in their own family relationships when he/she encouraged the family to do more things together as a family group.
--Bookfan, amazon reviewer