03 September 2014

MissDomino: Street Lit Writers MUST Be Heard

MissDomino: Street Lit Writers MUST Be Heard: A must-read article by Chicago-based librarian and street lit expert, K.C. Boyd. Just click on link to access article.

In the Margins Presents 2015 Book List Nominations

In the Margins (ITM) is proud to present the official nominations for our 2015 book list, to date. New titles are still being considered, and ITM is seeking teen feedback to assist in producing a list of finalists. Anyone is welcome to nominate a title; click here for the nomination form. A committee member will review the information and consider it for official nomination.

ITM, under the umbrella of Library Services for Youth in Custody, strives to bring to light self-published and small press published titles by, for, and about people in poverty, on the streets, in custody, or otherwise living in the margins. Books from larger publishers are also considered if they fit our charge. Teens are the target audience for the lists we create and promote.

We hope our book list will empower librarians working in difficult situations to legitimize their book choices in order to promote positive reading and literacy activities for teens in the margins.

We will have openings to serve in January 2015 for the 2016 list (click here for membership application). Please let us know of your interest!!

In the Margins Official Nominations, 2015

Beaty, Daniel. Knock, Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me. Little, Brown. December 2013. 40p. HC $18.00. ISBN 9780316209175. Why isn't his dad around to play Knock, Knock jokes anymore?

Booth, Coe. Kinda Like Brothers. Scholastic. August 2014. 256p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780545224963. Jarrett is kinda mad he has to share a room with Kevon, a foster kid. They aren’t friends, they aren’t brothers, and they aren’t exactly enemies. But sometimes it sure feels like it.

Burgess, Melvin. The Hit. Chicken House. February 2014. 304p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780545556996. Take the hit. Live the most intense week of your life. Then die. Is life during these hard times so bad that this sounds like a great idea?

Butler, Pacc. From God’s Monster to the Devil’s Angel. CreateSpace. January 2014. 170p. PB $14.95. ISBN 9781494771669. After a childhood full of abuse, is a life of crime on the streets with gangs his only option?

Canion, Ebony. Left for Dead. Life Changing Books. February 2014. 228p. PB $15.99. ISBN 9781934230596. Ebony's tragedy-filled life takes a deadly turn when a woman with a grudge deliberately drives over her and drags her body through the street under her car.

Chappell, Crissa-Jean. More Than Good Enough. Flux. January 2014. 216p. PB $8.99. ISBN 978-0738736440. Trent doesn’t fit in on the Rez with his dad, who just got out of jail, or with his mom, who dumped him, but he does fit with Pippa. Will her acceptance be enough to help him realize that it’s enough to just be himself?

De Vries, Maggie. Rabbit Ears. HarperTrophy Canada. September 2014. 288p. PB $8.99. ISBN 9780062332905. Will Kaya escape her demons on the drug-infested streets?

Dragon, Laura Roach. Hurricane Boy. Pelican. March 2014. 160p. PB $8.95. ISBN 9781455619160. When their broken family is left homeless and separated from their sick grandmother, siblings must struggle to stay together after Hurricane Katrina.

Ewing, Lynne. The Lure. Balzer + Bray. February 2014. 288p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780062206886. Gangs, girls, and guns: a deadly combination.

Giles, Gail. Girls Like Us. Candlewick. May 2014. 224p. HC $16.99. ISBN 9780763662677. Quincy and Biddy rely on their natural sense of survival to make it in the real world after a lifetime of abuse and abandonment.

Hall, Shyima. Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave. Simon & Schuster. January 2014. 240p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9781442481688. Sold into servitude by her Egyptian parents, Shyima sees no hope of escape when her captors bring her to the United States.

Hillman, Bill. The Old Neighborhood. Curbside Splendor. April 2014. 500p. PB $15.95. 9781940430003. Joe can’t seem to escape his destiny as a Chicago gang member, even as drug addiction and violence threaten to destroy his family and friends.

Jones, Patrick. Bridge. Darby Creek. August 2014. 96p. HC $27.99. ISBN 9781467739030. PB $7.95. ISBN 9781467744829. José’s life just got harder when his dad has a medical emergency and lands in jail.

Jones, Patrick. Controlled. Darby Creek. August 2014. 112p. HC $27.99. ISBN 9781467739023. PB $7.95. ISBN 978-1467744836. Misty is out of control, especially since her mother just died. But it's nothing new - except to Rachel, her cousin. Because now Misty is moving in with Rachel and taking over. Drama, trouble and just possibly, good girl Rachel going bad.

Jones, Patrick. Target. Darby Creek. August 2014. 128p. HC $27.99. ISBN 9781467739009. PB $7.95. ISBN 9781467744850.  Native American Frankie's trying to leave the gang and start new at Rondo High. His mom moved so that he would get away from the negative influences he had before. His dad's in prison and is egging him on to take revenge, and his cousins are in his new neighborhood doing the same. What will Frankie do?

Knight, Michelle. Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed. Weinstein. May 2014. 280p. HC $14.98. ISBN 9781602862562. Kidnapped and tortured for 11 years, Michelle survives the horrors of captivity under the control of psychopath Ariel Castro.

Kuehn, Stephanie. Complicit. St. Martin’s Griffin. June 2014. 256p. HC $19.95. ISBN  9781250044594. Jamie has tried hard to fit in with his adoptive parents, but his sister hasn’t done anything but get into trouble, finally landing in jail for attempted murder. Now she’s out, and Jamie is sure she’s coming for him.

K’Wan. Black Lotus. Akashic. May 2014. 128p. HC $19.95. ISBN 9781617752650. PB $11.95. ISBN 9781617752667. Murder! Mystery! Intrigue! Can you figure out the assassin's game?

Miles, Michelle. The High Price I Had to Pay 2: Sentenced to 30 Years as a Nonviolent, First Time Offender. Voices International. November 2013. 66p. PB $7.99.  ISBN 9780991104109. She had it all and didn’t think twice until she got arrested by the Feds.

Morgan, Kass. The 100. September 2013. Little, Brown. 336p. HC $18.00. ISBN 978-0316234474. PB $10.00. ISBN 978-0316234498. One hundred teens, chosen to return to Earth after nuclear war has exiled humanity to life on spaceships, have one thing in common: criminal pasts. Given no choice, they face a dangerous world and a more dangerous enemy – each other.

Reynolds, Jason. When I Was the Greatest. Atheneum. January 2014. 240p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9781442459472. Friends + bad choices = deadly circumstances.

Shiraz, Yasmin. Accused. Still Eye Rise. May 2014. 274p. PB $11.95. ISBN 9780971817487. Date rapist on campus. Can Tashera stop him? Can Ahmed prove it's not him?

Sitomer, Alan Lawrence. Caged Warrior. Disney Hyperion. May 2014. 224p. HC $15.99. ISBN 9781423171249. Will M.D.’s killer instincts in MMA lead him to a better life?

Stein, Deborah Jiang. Prison Baby. Beacon. March 2014. 176p. PB $14.00. ISBN 9780807098103. Born in a prison to an addicted mother, can Deborah ever fit in?

Van Diepen, Allison. On the Edge. HarperTeen. November 2014. 304p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780062303448. The only witness to a homicide, Maddie is protected by Lobos, the sexy leader of Destino's gang.

Workman, P.D. Ruby: Between the Cracks. PD Workman. February 2014. 486p. PB $16.90. ISBN 978-0992153953. Ruby's life is filled with gangs, drugs, foster families, and pregnancies but she is tough and wants to run her life on her terms.  Can she ever find happiness?

Yamini, Omar. What’s Wrong With You! Smashwords. January 2014. PB $19.95. ISBN 9780991574605. A gritty eyewitness account of life behind bars that tears to shreds its hip-hop illusion of urban coolness.

Zusman, Angela Beth. The Griots of Oakland. Story for All. October 2013. 206p. HC $59.99. ISBN 9780988763111. PB $14.99. ISBN 978-0988763104. 100 African-American young men from Oakland, California tell it like it is.

Current committee:
Chair: Amy Cheney, Librarian, Juvenile Justice Center, Alameda County, CA Sabrina Carnesi, Librarian, Crittenden Middle School, VA Dale Clark, Fraser Park Secondary, Burnaby Youth Custody Services, Burnaby, BC Canada Joe Coyle, Project Coordinator, Mix IT Up!, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL Marvin DeBose Sr., Adult – Teen Librarian, Free Library of Philadelphia, PA.
Mackenzie Magee, Maggie Novario, Teen Librarian, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, WA Dr. Kerry Sutherland, Youth Services Librarian, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH Amy Wander, Public Services Manager, Lafayette Public Library, LA

Amy Cheney
Write to Read Juvenile Hall Literacy
San Leandro, CA 94578

27 May 2014

StreetLiterature.com on Hiatus

Thank you for supporting StreetLiterature.com. Due to recent life events, the blog is going to be on hiatus until further notice. I may blog if a genre development arises, or if a societal event prompts reflection; and we'll definitely be up and running to confer the annual Street Literature Book Award Medal (SLBAM) awards. Thank you again for supporting StreetLiterature.com.

31 March 2014

For RELEASE: 2014 Street Literature Book Award Medal (SLBAM) Winners and Honorees


Philadelphia, PA. -- The 2014 Street Lit Book Award Medal (SLBAM) Committee is proud to announce the award winners for 2013 publications. The following winners and honorees were nominated based on popularity of books as read by the public in school, academic, and public library settings. In other words, the SLBAM honors what street lit readers are reading and deeming as their best authors and titles for the 2013 publication year.


Readers really resonated with the epistolary-styled book authored author/actor Hill Harper. A long-time activist for social justice, Harper's writings back to inmate letters is awe-inspiring and a clarion call for everyone to acknowledge that if one of us is imprisoned, then, we all are. This title was constantly requested last year, in its hardback version. It is also available on Kindle, and the paperback is due for release in April 2014.

Adult Non-Fiction Honorees:
-- Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation by Quest Love.
-- Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou.
-- Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson and Larry Sloman.

Author and publisher Wahida Clark has a loyal readership that responds to her books consistently. Clark's works are always authentic in their voice and in their uncompromising representations of what goes on in the hood. Wahida keeps it real in her Thug Love series, of which "Honor Thy Thug" is the latest installment. Readers couldn't get enough of this title in 2013.

Adult Fiction Honorees:
-- The Prada Plan 3: Green-Eyed Monster by Ashley and JaQuavis.
-- Murderville 3: The Black Dahlia by Ashley and JaQuavis.
-- Fly Betty by Treasure Blue.

Saddleback Educational Publishing specializes in publishing relatable and readable fiction and non-fiction for struggling readers. This nicely packaged 10-volume series has engaged teen readers throughout the country since its release in early 2013. Librarians report that this series of 48-paged biographies successfully attracts reluctant readers.

Young Adult Literature (fiction and non-fiction) honorees:

-- Grace, Gold, and Glory My Leap of Faith by Gabrielle Douglass.
-- Way too Much Drama by Earl Sewell.
-- Butterfly: A novel by Sylvester Stephens.

NYT Bestselling duo, Ashley & JaQuavis continue to grasp readers with their Murderville trilogy, Murderville: The First of a Trilogy (2011), Murderville 2: The Epidemic (2012), and Murderville 3: The Black Dahlia (2013). This woven tale of Liberty's journey from Sierra Leone to the Americas and back, is a powerful testament to the rich tapestry of stories that the street lit genre continues to convey.

Wahida Clark is a New York Times bestselling author who has long been noted for her pioneering contributions to contemporary street lit, as well as her commitment to the evolution of the genre. Known as the Queen of Thug Love, her "Thug Love" series has garnered an immensely loyal readership throughout the years. A  2007 SLBAM Adult Fiction winner, Wahida's latest novel, "Honor Thy Thug," has graced her in the winner's circle again with winning the 2014 SLBAM Award in the Adult Fiction category as well. Clark is a Cash Money Content author and she also runs her own publishing company, including a young adult imprint.

Methodology: The SLBAM Committee conducted three nomination rounds where they reported on field research of patron readership and reader response to street lit in libraries across the country. The committee discussed all nominated titles. The "Emerging Classic" category recognizes a street lit-plotted or -themed book that was published during or before the year of nomination but continues to be in popular demand by the reading public. Another special category, "Author(s) of the Year", recognizes an author or writing team whose publications were particularly well-received by the reading public during the nomination year. Aside from the "Emerging Classic" category, books eligible for SLBAM nomination were required to be published between January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013.

For more information about the Street Lit Book Award Medal (SLBAM) or if you are interested in participating on the committee, visit the StreetLiterature.com website for a historical listing of SLBAM Awards.

2014 SLBAM Committee Members:

K.C. Boyd, M.Ed., M.L.S., is the Library Media Specialist at the acclaimed Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, IL. Boyd is a nationally sought-out lecturer on street lit and urban young adult reading practices. Known as "The Audacious Librarian", KC blogs about young adult street lit/urban fiction at http://theaudaciouslibrarian.blogspot.com/.

Marvin DeBose, Sr., M.L.S., is an Adult/Teen Librarian with the Free Library of Philadelphia (PA). An often sought-out panelist for discussing street lit in libraries, Marvin manages the largest street lit public library collection in Philadelphia, and also runs a teen street lit book club where they discuss their readings on Facebook. Marvin blogs at Mr.Philly Librarian.

D.L. Grant, Jr., M.L.S., is an Assistant Branch Manager with the San Antonio (TX) Public Library System. Grant is studying for his doctorate's degree in English studies.

Patrice Grimball-Smith is a Librarian Assistant in Young Adult Services for the Charleston County Public Library System in Charleston, South Carolina. She is also President of the Readers in Motion Bookclub.

Vanessa Irvin Morris, M.S.L.S., Ed.D., is the convener of the Street Lit Book Award Medal (SLBAM) Committee (note: Dr. Morris only votes when there is need for a tie-breaker). Vanessa is the author of the Street Literature blog, and the award-winning publication, The Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature (2011). A librarian with over 25 years' experience, Vanessa teaches library and information science at a private research university in Northeast USA.

For media inquiries about the SLBAM awards, contact: vanirvinmorris@gmail.com.