Tattooed Teardrops wins Top Fiction Book for Teens

A year ago, I was announcing to you that Ruby, Between the Cracks had won one of the 2015 Top Ten Best Books for Teens award put out by Library Services for Youth in Custody. Wow, how time flies! During the ensuing year, the committee requested copies of three of my books  for the 2016 award:

Tattooed Teardrops

June & Justin, Between the Cracks #2

Cynthia Has a Secret

And then the email arrived with regard to Tattooed Teardrops…

Your book won the award for top fiction title!  Congratulations!

tattooed mockup-1Yes, you read that right, first place winner! Fantastic. As I posted back when they confirmed that Tattooed Teardrops had been nominated, I felt that Tattooed Teardrops was an even better book and better contender for the award than Ruby, Between the Cracks, and it looks like the Committee agreed.

More about the award

In the Margins Book Award and Selection Committee, (ITM) a committee under the umbrella of Library Services for Youth in Custody (LYSC) strives to find the best books for teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody—or a cycle of all three.  They identify quality, age-appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in urban, lockdown, homeless shelters and other non-traditional venues for teens living in the margins.

“This is our third year of highlighting self and small press published books that validate, illuminate and humanize those living in the margins. We bring true diversity to bookshelves and libraries by reading, reviewing, debating, soliciting teen feedback and awarding  honors for these titles,” says the Committee. “The majority of  our list may be unknown to you or have gotten little attention in traditional reviews, but are hits with our teens. This is  a statement for the need for more of us to look for and highlight diverse books.”

If you have contacts in your local library or junior high/high school, please make sure they see this list!

As with Ruby, I will be posting Tattooed Teardrops to Wattpad and they will be featuring it.

For schools and libraries that are ordering copies, Tattooed Teardrops is available through Ingram (softcover ISBN 9781926500294 and hardcover ISBN 9781926500409) and Createspace (softcover ISBN 9780993768750).


More books on the Top Ten Best Books for Teens list (these all look so good!):

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.
NBM 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.

Tell me what you think!

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