The Day Tajon Got Shot
The Day Tajon Got Shot
By the Teen Writers of Beacon House
2017 INDIES Winner for Young Author (17 and Under)
2018 Top Fiction Winner - In the Margins Book Awards
Named "10 Books to Read After The Hate U Give" by School Library Journal.
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.
School Library Journal – "10 Books to Read After The Hate U Give"
The Kojo Nnamdi Show, WAMU – "How Ten Teen Girls from D.C. Wrote a Novel About A Fictional Police Shooting"
WUSA 9 – "Local teens write a novel about police-involved shootings"
Rich in Color review
DC Public Library Author Talk - February 8, 2018
Black Lit Matters: Unheard Voices on Race and Justice - AWP Conference
These young women wrote a hell of a story. It's powerful and incredibly well written. (Warning: You will probably cry, but you need to read it either way)
So glad I came across this book. Loved reading the various aspects of each of the characters.
My struggling/reluctant readers LOVE this book! Writing is simple, which is great for them, but the first chapter gets RIGHT into the plot.
To be written by teenagers girls, this story tells a lot. Accurately portrays what unfortunately happens when a person of color gets shot in this country, These girls capture the emotion of all parties involved.
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 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.
I thought that The day Tajon got shot was inspiring because it was about justice for African-Americans
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.
Strong story written by some very young authors. A community program, Beacon House, brought together a group of young girls. So current, so true, so heart breaking.
Fast read. Love that this was written by teenagers and they attempted to explore a complicated topic from so many perspectives.
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!
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.