It Doesn't Have to Be This Way (Paperback)
No Tiene Que Ser Así
Children's Book Press (CA), 9780892392032, 32pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Monchi likes to write poems, hang out with his cousin Dreamer, and tell stories to his uncle, T o Rogelio. Then one day, a member of the local gang tells him it's time to join up. "But first you have to prove yourself," he says. Monchi is scared but excited. He writes his name on the school wall, steals a bike, and buys a knife. The older boys give him a handshake, girls talk to him, and even teachers are afraid of him. But when a tragic event changes everything, Monchi must make an important decision. It Doesn't Have To Be This Way is a compelling tale of a young boy's encounter with the world of gangs--a world that author Luis J. Rodr guez knows firsthand. Through his mesmerizing true-to-life story and the dynamic illustrations of artist Daniel Galvez, we see how Monchi is both attracted to the community of gang life and repelled by its violence. There is no easy answer to his dilemma, but the love and respect of his Uncle Rogelio help him find a way out.