2016 Top Ten

2016 In the Margin Book Award Top Ten


BUTLER, Tewhan. America’s Massacre: The Audacity of Despair and a Message of Hope. – Top Non-Fiction Award!
Raise UP Media. October 2014. PB $19.99.
ISBN 9780692281826
Without making excuses for his past, Tehwan Butler articulately describes the growth of gang lifestyle in inner cities. Butler’s gift at persuasive storytelling is what helped him fill the ranks of the first Bloods on the East Coast. Now he uses that same gift to persuade others not to follow the same path.



CARTER, Alton. The Boy Who Carried Bricks:A True Story of Survival.
Roadrunner Press. March 2014. 196p. HC $18.95.
ISBN 9781937054342.
Growing up in a violent, neglectful environment Alton Carter left his family and faced even more horrifying experiences in foster care. Motivated to be a good father, Carter successfully graduated from high school and college. Carter’s straightforward description will resound with many youth who have faced a troubled homelife.



DEUTCH, Kevin. The Triangle: A Year on the Ground with New York’s Bloods and Crips.
Lyons Press. December 2014. 214p. PB. $16.95.
ISBN 781493007608.
Deutsch traces the violence and futility of the war between the Bloods and the Crips in the New York neighborhood known as The Triangle. A once peaceful community locked its doors and minds to the gunfire and bloodshed of the gangbangers who terrorized them in the gangs’ quest to control the drug trade and fight for the “twisted” rewards of respect, honor, and revenge.



FRANK, E.R. Dime. Simon Teen.
May 2015. 336p. HC $17.99.
ISBN 9781481431606.
Thirteen year old Dime thought Daddy was different. She believes she has found the long sought-after love and support she needs. What she thinks she has, soon crumbles when she is told she now had to earn her stay and is sent to the streets to make her way. When she discovers a young 10 year old girl alone in a locked room with video equipment, she is finally shocked straight and can’t imagine what type of person could do something so heinous to a young child. Dime knows she has to get away, but does she have the strength to escape? Can she help the others?


KERN, Peggy. Little Peach.
Balzer + Bray. March 2015. 208p. HC $17.99.
ISBN 9780062266958.
When Chelle’s grandfather dies, she is faced with her mom’s drug addiction and the inappropriate sexual advances of her mother’s boyfriend. Would she be better off following her friend Erica to the place called the Pink Houses? She knows nothing about the city or the houses, she only knows she has a friend there. Hopefully she can find her.



LABOUCANE-BENSON, Patti. The Outside Circle.
House of Anansi Press. June 2015. 264p. PB $19.95.
ISBN 9781770899377.
In this powerful graphic novel, two First Nations siblings are given a chance to change their destiny. Pete and his younger brother Joey were raised in a neighborhood of gang and drug violence. When Pete is arrested and sentenced for murder, he discovers that his gang associates are now seeking out his little brother as a replacement.



LEWIS, Tony Jr. Slugg: A Boy’s Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration.
Hanover Place Press. July 2015. PB $9.99.
ISBN 9780692431573.
When Tony Lewis Jr. was two years old, his father was a 19 year old drug kingpin, and a millionaire. They lived with all the trappings of wealth. But at age nine, Tony’s life descended into chaos when his father was arrested and sentenced to life. Lewis also survived the downward spiral after the arrest and the mental breakdown of his mother. In this book, Lewis includes page after page of insight and reflection about prison, choices, fatherhood, and connection.



ROSS, Richard. Girls In Justice. – Advocacy/Social Justice Award!
The Image of Justice. 2015. 192p. HC $29.95.
ISBN 9780985510619.
Ross’s photo-journalistic documentation of girls in America’s detention facilities features full color pages of a stark living experience seldom seen by the public. Each shockingly hard-hitting segment includes national statistics about girls in custody and short biographical stories of the girls in their own words. Short 3-4 page essays by contributors such as Leslie Acosta, founder and executive director of Girl’s Health and Justice Institute and Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, round out the bleak picture.


VOLOJ, Julian. Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker.
Publishing. May 2015. 128p. PB $12.99
ISBN 9781561639489.
This graphically formatted biography depicts the life of Benji Melendez, who in 1971 brokered one of the most successful gang truces in the South Bronx and Harlem area. As president of the Ghetto Brothers, he brought a stop to the violence that was tearing his world apart. Instead of gangs meeting in weekly war councils, he promoted planning sessions for weekly rap concerts which fostered the emergence of ’80s hip hop and a new style of dance called break dancing.



WORKMAN, PD. Tattooed Teardrops. – Top Fiction Award!
PD Workman. August 2014. 292p. PB $15.95.
ISBN 9780993768750.
Fresh out of juvie and anxious for a clean start in life, Tamara’s plans are to stay out of trouble and not break her probation. But her ex-cellmate, Glock is obsessed and won’t leave her alone. As Tamara’s life begins to slowly unravel she’s not sure if she can hold it together with the choices she faces.