Making Decisions and Living with Consequences: Good and Badbang.jpgBang!

Mann may only be 13, but he knows first hand the explosive sound a gun makes and damage it does to human flesh. Mann watched as his younger brother was killed by a stray bullet. He lives surrounded by gang-bangers, drug dealers, and other people who have little value for life. When Mann starts getting in trouble himself, his father tries to save his son by taking him and his friend away from the "ghetto." Instead of staying with the boys, however, Mann's father leaves the them alone in a campground. He hopes that Mann will learn valuable lessons about surviving and becoming a man. But finding his way home turns out to be filled with many challenges, including some of the same dangers Mann's father hoped to avoid.

Flake, Sharon. Bang! New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2007.

Right Behind You


When Kip was 9, he killed his neighbor by setting him on fire. Kip spends four years in a mental institution before he is released. His family starts over in a new community, and Kip struggles with his secret past as he tries to build a new life. His conscience, however, becomes a monster that threatens to destroy everyone around him.

Giles, Gail. Right Behind You. New York: Little, Brown and Company. 2007.

canales.jpgThe Tequila Worm

All of the women in Sofia’s family get married and have babies before they even graduate high school. Sofia longs for something more in her life. But following her dreams means breaking many traditions of her Latino culture and leaving behind all that she knows. Sofia must find a balance between the world of her family and the world of the gringo as she seeks to conquer her fears while achieving her dreams.

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Find out more about Viola Canales and her work

Canales, Viola. The Tequila Worm. New York: Random House, Inc., 2007.