*Starred Review* Jones was only five years old when she was taken away from her family after a teacher noticed signs of sexual abuse. After being bounced around from house to house for three years, Jones’ caseworker takes her to South Central Los Angeles and the home of Big Mom, a tough, religious African American woman caring for her four grandchildren. Here, Jones finally finds a home and a family and quickly learns the rules of the neighborhood, which is run by the Bloods. Her two older brothers, Tyrell and Taye, join the gang, and Jones longs to as well, even after both brothers go to jail for different offenses. In spite of terrible losses—Jones calls a friend she saw just the night before and learns that he has been murdered—Jones becomes a provider for her family by running drugs. Eventually, she surprises even herself by doing what she once thought was impossible: getting into college and leaving South Central. Raw and powerful, Jones’ memoir is unforgettable, painting a vivid picture of a world most of us turn away from, one that thrives on loyalty and love amid all the bloodshed. --Kristine Huntley
About the Author
Margaret B. Jones, born in Pomona, California, was brought up in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in ethnic studies and is an active member of International Brother/SisterHood, which works to reduce gang violence and mentor urban teens.
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