This is a true, gripping account of a murder investigation of a young African American boy, Bryant Tennelle, who also happens to be the son of an LAPD detective. In the Ghettoside section of Los Angeles, young African American men are murdered at a high rate without any real effort to solve the crimes. This book describes the challenges facing the families who are victims of these crimes and the obstacles police face in trying to solve the cases. The work of John Skaggs, a detective who believes that every victim is “some daddy’s baby” and deserves to have their murders given a proper investigation is featured prominently. If you like true crime police investigations, this is a quick page-turner.
Fifteen year old Ali is psyched about wangling an invitation to a “Momo” party. Momo is known for his fly summer parties filled with older girls, the best DJs, and the cool “hood” celebs. The problem is, the invitation is for him, his best friend Noodles who gets ticked off easily and his big brother Needles who has actual tics due to Tourette’s Syndrome. The first problem is finding the right clothes without having to spend the money they don’t have. Then, they have to figure out a way to be chill at the exclusive party and blend in with the older crowd. But how should a touchy 15 year old react when knocking elbows with local hoods, and how does anyone keep Tourettes under control when things are getting exciting? Ali is about to find out as his boxing skills and friendships are put to the test.
Vic Benucci suffers from Moebius syndrome which leaves his face partially paralyzed. He has never gotten over his father’s death but now his mother is about to get re-married. What was once a warm loving home is turning into hell with two younger step-brothers who are ready to make fun of his condition every chance they get. One night, Vic runs off with his dad’s ashes and into the “Kids of Appetite.” There’s Baz and Zuz, refugee brothers from the Congo, Coco, a constantly faux-swearing 11 year old, and Madeline Falco, a domestic abuse victim and the most beautiful girl who’s ever talked to Vic. The kids ‘adopt’ Vic into their group and decide to help him fulfill his dad’s coded last wishes to scatter his ashes in the special nostalgic places shared with his mother. This book is like a puzzle, told through alternating narratives - Vic’s, Mad’s, and the account of what happens in the interrogation room during a murder investigation. If you are a fan of diverse characters, a story told through different points of view, and light romance mixed with a murder mystery, this is a book for you.
Rashad Butler just wanted to get a bag of chips from the corner grocery but gets accused of shoplifting. Jumping to the conclusion that he must’ve done something wrong, Officer Paul Galluzzo handcuffs Rashad and roughs him up. This incident is caught on video and sends shockwaves through the community. Quinn is a witness to the beating but is torn about which side he should take. On the one hand, Rashad is a classmate and no one deserves to be that badly beaten when he is already handcuffed on the ground. On the other hand, Paul Galluzzo is a close family friend. Was he just doing his job? Was the violence justified in beating Rashad? These are questions that Quinn grapples with as he comes into his own understanding of what it means to be loyal to one’s friends and morals.
Lucy has just won the equivalent of a lottery - a scholarship to one of the most prestigious girls schools in Australia. Her Vietnamese-Chinese family is thrilled but Lucy is not so sure. For one, she is ashamed of her family’s financial circumstances compared with that of her more well-to-do classmates. Her parents work 24/7, with her mom running a one-woman sweatshop in their garage. Her parents’ inability to speak English means they don’t realize the challenging path Lucy needs to take in trying to fit in at her new school. Initially Lucy is taken under the wing of the most popular girls at school. But, Lucy slowly discovers that being and staying popular has a price - one that she may not be ready to pay.
Incredibly close, artistic twins Noah and Jude vie to get into a prestigious art school to impress their art critic mother. However, when their mother dies in a tragic car accident and Jude gets accepted into the school when Noah is not, the twins drift apart. Noah finds himself increasingly attracted to Brian, a neighbor and baseball star while Jude who used to be a popular life of the party withdraws into a more solitary existence. Told in alternating points of view with Noah telling the story leading up to the accident and Jude telling the story afterwards, the siblings share their halves of the story without realizing the effects their decisions have on each other and the secrets their mother has kept until her death.