Proceeds from book sales go to a Beacon House and to empower new authors.
Teaching The Day Tajon Got Shot in your classroom or reading it in your book club? Discussion guides and writing prompts are available through www.shoutmousepress.org.
In March 2015, ten teen girls from Beacon House, a community-based organization in the Edgewood Terrace community in NE Washington, DC, started writing this novel during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. They began with one central question: What really happens in a community when a black youth is the victim of violence by police? How are those individual lives affected?
Each writer took on the perspective of a central character – the victim, the police officer, the witness, the parent, the friend, the officer’s kids – and examines how it feels to be a human being on all sides of this event. Their stories thoughtfully explore issues of race, violence, loyalty, and justice in a community torn apart but seeking connection.
This books builds on the tradition of Trinitoga–an insightful and uncensored view into the lives of smart, brave, passionate African-American young women in NE DC–with a new angle. In Trinitoga these authors explored the complex relationships between family, and they did so unflinchingly, and with heart.
With this book we wanted to do something more: to give these writers a chance to enter a national conversation that has become a new generation’s fight in our country’s ongoing Civil Rights Movement. This book can make a powerful statement in a unique and compelling way, and it gives both these writers and their readers a chance to explore hot-button issues of race and violence in a way that is sophisticated and necessarily complex. These stories go beyond the headlines to explore the perspectives of people on all sides of the discussion. The book is powerful, and timely, and tremendously ambitious on behalf of these authors. We cannot wait for you to be able to read it.
Interview with Shout Mouse Press story coach, Sheila McMullin, on the journey of supporting teen authors in writing this book!
“10 Books To Read After ‘The Hate U Give’” by Shelley Diaz in School Library Journal
“How Ten Teen Girls from D.C. Wrote a Novel About A Fictional Police Shooting” on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, WAMU
“Multicultural Children’s Book Day – Review of The Day Tajon Got Shot” by Joanna Marple in Miss Marple’s Musings
Book Review by teen writer, Amelia Cotter in Wordgathering, A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature