The Day Tajon Got Shot

“This book is important, and not just because of the topic. Books like The Hate U Give, All American Boys, How It Went Down, etc. are all valuable, and if you have the time and inclination I recommend reading all of them. Before you do, though, I suggest you get your hands on a copy of this book--legit, ask me, I will lend you mine.

Why should this be number one on your to read list? 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. As if that's not enough, they brought each character to life, and I caught myself holding my breath multiple times as I read. Finally, the artwork incorporated into the story added even more depth. This book is a work of art. And page 151, man...I don't think I've ever reacted so strongly to a book before.

Final reason to read this? Jason freaking Reynolds tweeted that people needed to read it. Jason Reynolds, guys. If you don't want to take my word for it, take his. I promise you, he's right.” - Amazon Customer


The Day Tajon Got Shot

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

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The Day Tajon Got Shot

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

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The Day Tajon Got Shot

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!

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The Day Tajon Got Shot

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.

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