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What life is really like as a gangbanger – living in fear of never getting out alive

Houston, TX, September 18, 2010 - Homeboy’s Soul: Pride, Terror, and Street Justice in America (Publish America) invites readers into the bizarre and deadly lifestyle of gangbanging in the barrios of Pomona on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County during the 70’s through 90’s. Written by Don Armijo and Fred Stawitz, Homeboy’s Soul tells the story of Armijo’s rise to power within one of L.A. County’s most violent street gangs, Calle Doce Los Sharkies. Minus the usual hype and sensationalism, this provocative tale invites readers into one of the most misunderstood lifestyles in America. It delves into the private thoughts, doubts, and fears of a normal Chicano ‘kid turned killer’ with an inside look into what life in the world of gangbangers is really all about.

Inspired to write Homeboy’s Soul as a way to reveal the truth about the influences that shaped life in the barrios surrounding Los Angeles, Armijo provides answers to why Chicano youth are easily attracted to the homeboy’s lifestyle and ultimately to gang warfare. Homeboy’s Soul neither blames nor defends barrio youth for their decisions, but rather provides a basis for understanding the culture and influences that lead them to the choices that have shaped their lives.

Cruise the barrio with a true vato loco. Face the deadly consequences of a movida on a rival gang. Experience the love and mistrust, the terror and boredom and, ultimately, the sense of hopelessness that there will be no bright tomorrow at the end of all the violence. Homeboy’s Soul provides a chilling account of how Armijo lived as a gang member, killed as a gang member, and wound up in prison abandoned by his homeboys where he experienced a personal transformation.

This book’s frank revelations offer civic leaders whose communities are plagued with gang violence a foundation for engaging the public in a conversation about how to address the socio-economic factors that feed gang activity. It gives parents and school officials incentive for a renewed commitment to provide all children the resources, support, opportunities, and acceptance they need to develop into contributing members of society.

Honored at the 2010 Hollywood Book Festival with an “honorable mention,” Homeboy’s Soul helps readers realize that each of us can alter our situation for the better through the choices we make and by taking responsibility for the consequences of our actions. Don Armijo has made peace with his past and has dedicated himself to helping those lured to the web of gangbanging, and those already ensnared by it find their path to a brighter future.

This amazing book can now be ordered at all major book stores, amazon.com, bn.com, and is available at: http://www.publishamerica.net/product89738.html. Visit www.HomeboysSoul.com for additional information.
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TIP SHEET:

Please view a recent TV interview at: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2010/09/10/how-1-man-left-the-gang-life-behind/.

Danny De La Paz, actor (Boulevard Nights, American Me): “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.”

Jim Bohannon (nationally-syndicated radio talk show host), The Jim Bohannon Show, Washington, D.C.: “Good luck in your efforts here. If you can turn this [gang situation] around the country will be better off because of it.”

Evangelina Vigil-Pinon, Viva Houston, KTRK-TV 13 ABC: "It's a great book, cuts the edge in assessing gang issues and what needs to be done. Keep up your great work!”
Michael King, King TV, NBC Seattle: “Phenomenal. Really a great read. Took us ‘ inside.’”

Michael F. Shaughnessy, Professor of Psychology at Eastern New Mexico University and Senior Columnist EducationNews.org: “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.”
Midwest Book Review, "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.”

Birga Alden, The Morning Show, KDAZ-AM 730 Albuquerque: “I pray that this book will continue to make a mighty difference!”

Tommy Briggs, Host of the AM Mayhem Show, YES-FM, Detroit-Toledo: “A fascinating book!”

Trent Redekop, The Morning Show, CKSW-AM 570 and CJSN-AM 1490, Canada: “Amazingly addictive!”
Richard Reyes, Pancho Claus and Gang Prevention Activist, Houston: “This book should be required reading for students, parents, school administrators, police officers and community leaders.”

Joel Valenzuela, Former Teacher, El Paso, Texas: “It gives ammunition to parents waging a painful war for the souls of children caught in the deadly culture of street gangs.”
Elizabeth Rhone, First Lady, Mount Sinai Church of God in Christ, Pomona, California: “You won’t want to put this book down!”

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