By Perez, Ashley Hope
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 t...han 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.Read more
Ashley Hope Perez is the author of the YA novels Out of Darkness (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), The Knife and the Butterfly (Carolrhoda Lab, 2012), and What Can't Wait (Carolrhoda Lab, 2011). Her debut novel What Can't Wait won a spot on the 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for YA list, and The Knife and the Butterfly was included in the 2015 YALSA Popular Paperbacks list. Ashley grew up in Texas and taught high school in Houston before pursuing a PhD in comparative literature. She is now a visiting assistant professor of comparative studies at The Ohio State University and spends most of her time reading, writing, and teaching on topics from global youth narratives to Latin American and Latina/o fiction. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Arnulfo, and their son, Liam Miguel. Visit her online at http: //www.ashleyperez.com/.
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