Through weekly after-school writing workshops, Beacon House teens work with Shout Mouse story coaches and Shootback photo coaches to create collaborative novels from multiple perspectives. Our projects help these teen writers to capture, create, and reshape their own stories, imagining for themselves and for their characters the futures they deserve.
The Day Tajon Got Shot has won two national awards in 2018 --the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year (Young Author) and “In the Margins” Book of the Year (for books appealing to at-risk teens)-- and was featured in School Library Journal as one of “10 Books to Read After The Hate U Give,” the most-lauded young adult novel of 2017. As well as being placed locally in every DC public middle and high school, this national attention has prompted over 1,300 educators, librarians, and booksellers across the country to order copies. Teen authors have been profiled on TV, radio, and in print, and are in demand as speakers, representing the youth voice in discussions about gun violence and #BlackLivesMatter.
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To think that a group of 12-14 year-old girls wrote this is mind-blowing! The way they so beautifully illustrated The ripples created in the community—from every angle, including the cop and his family—after Tajon gets shot is astute, important, and haunting.
I read this book this morning. Really amazing that a group of teens—mostly middle schoolers—wrote it. I hope it is widely read and that these ten girls can have a big effect of using their voices. Wishing there was an opportunity for my students like this.
Really well done. Written by a group of teen age girls, it looks at the problem of officer involved shootings from all perspectives including both the victim's family and the officer's family. The fact that a group of young women could adopt the various different perspectives and look at a complicated issue from different viewpoints is really remarkable. Good reading for middle school to high school.
Thank you for the work you do! I’m a Literary Coach in a middle school in the South Bronx. We read The Day Tajon Got Shot as a school-wide read in May. It was excellent! Students could not put the book down! There was a constant buzz throughout the building as students and adults read it.
I have never written to any author before, but I loved your book and I just had to tell you. I think this is a really important piece of literature that speaks to both the simplicity and the complexity of the problem of race-based policing.
First things first, because it was written by a group of teenage girls. If that knowledge doesn't hit you like a punch in the gut with every word you read, then you just might be missing a heart. Think about what they must be going through to be able to produce something like this. These girls worked together to examine all sides of the epidemic of police violence toward black people in a thoughtful, emotional, and powerful way, and I was blown away with every page.
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.
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.
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.
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.