Cruise the barrio with a vato loco. Face the deadly consequances of a movida on a rival gang. Share the private thoughts and fears of a Chicano child turned killer. Live the most pervasive and misunderstood lifestyle in America--gangbanging! And the challenge? Do it all without dying!
Homeboy's Soul, an autobiography, is available now. Penned in English by Don Armijo and Fred Stawitz, this amazing true story takes readers along on the turbulent rise to power, downfall, and resurrection of the shotcaller of one of Los Angeles County's most violent street gangs. Also included is a glossary of terms with translations and a listing of music popular among members of Chicano street gangs.
Homeboy's Soul is being enjoyed by readers throughout the United States as well as Canada, China, England, Sweden, and Spain.
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Second Place, Drama Division
Latino Book and Family Festival, Books Into Film Awards
Honorable Mention, Biography/Autobiography Division
Hollywood Book Festival
Book of the Week
AccountingWeb.com, Jul 12 - 19, 2010
“‘Homeboy’s Soul’ deserves to take its place among the best literature available today on the complex and fascinating subject of what draws a promising young life to such self-destruction.”
Danny De La Paz, Actor (Boulevard Nights, American Me, Road Dogz)
“Phenomenal. Really a great read. Took us 'inside.'”
Michael King, KING TV, NBC, Seattle
“Good luck in your efforts here. If you can turn this [gang situation] around the country will be better off because of it.”
Jim Bohannon, The Jim Bohannon Show (nationally syndicated radio program), WWWT-AM 1500; Washington, DC
“You have the knowledge and the background and I would urge you to use all of that to make a difference with this, so that the country changes its views and gets involved in trying to stop these gangs and give these kids some other hope.”
Mike Siegel, The Mike Siegel Show (nationally syndicated radio program), CyberStation USA; Seattle, WA
"In some areas of America, the law has turned away, leaving people to find their own justice. Homeboy's Soul: Pride, Terror, & Street Justice in America tells a story of the barrio, where many Hispanic people faced life in the ghettos, faced with gang violence and the blind eye of the law. Don Armijo brings readers his own experiences where he saw many people close to him die violent deaths. Homeboy's Soul is a choice pick for those wanting insight on the plight of the Los Angeles Underworld.”
Midwest Book Review
“If you are a sociology instructor or teach classes in gangs, juvenile delinquency, probation or parole, you need to get this book for required reading. Your students will appreciate it.”
Michael F. Shaughnessy, Professor of Psychology at Eastern New Mexico University and Senior Columnist, EducationNews.org
“Very evocative content and context. It's a great book, cuts the edge in assessing gang issues and what needs to be done. Keep up your great work!”
Evangelina Vigil-Pinon, Viva Houston!, KTRK-TV 13 ABC, Houston
"This book should be required reading for students, parents, school administrators, police officers, and community leaders.”
Richard Reyes, PanchoClaus and Gang Prevention Activist, Houston and Los Angeles
“It gives ammunition to parents waging a painful war for the souls of children caught in the deadly culture of street gangs.”
Joel Valenzuela, Former Teacher, Houston
“You won’t want to put this book down!”
Elizabeth Rhone, First Lady, Mount Sinai Church of God in Christ, Pomona, California
“More and more, today, youth are being drawn into the culture and violence of gangs. Whether it be in the inner cities or suburbia, gangs are a reality. Unfortunately, individual gang members are not always willing to step forward to take a stand against the gangs. This book gives parents a great resource and ammunition to assist them with dealing with the crisis that can take over in their homes when dealing with the gangs that their children are introduced to. All-in-all ‘Homeboy’s Soul’ gave me a great understanding of gangs today and what I can do or cannot do as a parent to safeguard my children.”
Chris Lewis, Dad of Divas Blog
“Outstanding; a real page-turner! Fascinating characters, fast-paced action as well as being very thought provoking!”
Gary Lust, Houston
“An absolutely fascinating book and chronicle of [gang leader] Don Armijo.”
Sandra Gonzalez, Host of Wine Country con Sabor, KVON-AM 1440, Napa Valley, California
“One of the better reminisences I've read in awhile. I did very much enjoy this book.”
Micheal Clish, Host of the Morning Magazine, WFAW-AM 940, Madison - Milwaukee (Ft. Atkinson)
“A fascinating book!”
Tommy Briggs, Host of the AM Mayhem Show, YES-FM, Detroit - Toledo
“As mentioned by Don Armijo and co-writer Fred Stawitz in this book, greedy record company executives and marketing moguls have encouraged young people to identify with the gangster image so it seems essential to make comprehensible the broad scope of this lifestyle, as this book accomplishes.”
Mark Russell Bell, Los Angeles
“I pray that this book will continue to make a mighty difference!”
Birga Alden, The Morning Show, KDAZ-AM 730, Albuquerque
“This story is fascinating ...”
Carter Jefferson, Editor, Internet Review of Books
“It is a good book.”
Antonio Flores-Lobo, Editor, Las Noticias, Kingston, New York
“That is a wonderful book!”
Phyllis Hall, The Interview Show, KXLO-AM 1230, Lewiston, Montana
“I really enjoyed this book. I’ve heard so many stories about gang-life and while it’s fascinating, it also poses a real threat, especially for young people who will do whatever it takes to fit in. I thought the writing was great.”
Bridget Hopper, Blogger, Readaholic
Read more of Homeboy's Soul at GoogleBooks.
CHAPTER ONE - RIOTS
As we hurried back toward the car, I quickly stole a glance behind me and saw that a large formation of police officers had gathered across the street. These men wore helmets with face shields and carried large clubs. They looked like they were ready for some serious business. All of a sudden, their boots pounded shockwaves into the pavement as they began marching toward the protesters. I hurried to keep up with Mom.
Again, I heard the sound of breaking glass, this time punctuated by screams as the two sides clashed. The fear I’d felt at Sharkie Park returned as my mother quickly ushered us back to the safety of our car.
That night, my mind raced as I lay in my bed. Outside, sirens and gunshots echoed through the barrio. Inside, anger and confusion took control of my brain. Until this day, I had thought the police were there to protect us. Now, I could see that they were to be feared.
CHAPTER SEVEN - VATOS LOCOS
I was kicking back with about twenty homeboys enjoying some pisto at Sharkie Park when we noticed a caravan of six lowriders slowly cruising west on Grand Avenue. De volada, we knew these ranflas weren’t from our barrio. Nite Owl glanced at me.
“It’s time to walk the walk!” he said, adding, “Stay with me, and stay on your feet!” The two of us ran with the rest of the homeboys to the parked ranflas and grabbed crowbars and anything that could help inflict bodily damage, then we waited as the vatos from D Street sped toward us. Screeching to a stop in the middle of the calle, the Sinners piled out of their ranflas with a barrage of verbal insults and profanity. For a brief moment, we faced off like raging bulls before the charge.
In seconds, they were all over us. I didn’t have time to think. Nite Owl and I were exchanging blows with a stocky vato. He was strong and stubborn, with tattoos covering both arms, and I could feel every crunching blow blast through my defenses. Nite Owl was more effective at blocking this vato’s blows and delivering some of his own. Next thing I know, a shot from somewhere else slams into the back of my head, and I’m eating dirt. Nite Owl’s advice “stay on your feet” echoed through mi mente after the ringing stopped. Thinking it was one thing; doing it seemed to be what challenged me at the moment. For a split second, Wicked getting stabbed flashed before me and provided enough motivation for me to get back on my feet.
We were badly outnumbered and it was simply a matter of time. It was blatantly clear that none of us were getting out of there without a severe beating.
A shot rang out. Everyone suddenly stopped fighting and looked up. My vision was blurry from a blow to my right eye but I was still able to see homeboy Camel grab his chest where the bala penetrated his body but failed to bring him down. I couldn’t believe it. He’d been shot, yet he seemed more worried about his ranfla. D Street vatos were tearing it up pretty bad with their crowbars and chains. Somehow, Camel climbed in the driver’s seat and tried to start his ranfla.
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