The Knife and the Butterfly (Hardcover)
Carolrhoda Books, 9780761361565, 210pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
After a marijuana-addled brawl with a rival gang, 16-year-old Azael wakes up to find himself surrounded by a familiar set of concrete walls and a locked door. Juvie again, he thinks. But he can't really remember what happened or how he got picked up. And this lock-up seems more than a little different from the one he knew before. For one, no one comes to visit or even calls. Stranger still are the hours he's forced to spend observing another inmatea white girl his own agethrough a one-way mirror. And then there's his file, which has a heavily redacted newspaper account of the brawl. Between observation sessions, Azael occupies himself with recalling his extremely difficult upbringing as one of three children of illegal Salvadoran immigrants and as a member of the MS-13 gang.