Always Running This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     Many people have lives that are filled with one fortunate event after another. Even as they watch the news, they don’t understand how the other half, the less fortunate half, lives. Luis J. Rodriguez in his autobiography, Always Running, brings the reader into his world with in-depth descriptions of the violence, poverty, racism and fear that surrounded him in his youth.

After moving from Mexico

to America at the age of two, Rodriguez grows up on the streets of Los Angeles. His youth revolves around drugs, sex, gang violence, police brutality and racism against Mexicans. By his late teens, Rodriguez has already experienced it all, and is just beginning to escape.

As Rodriguez took me through his life, I experienced many emotions; disgust as he describes the police; fear during gang wars; pride when he makes a difference in his community.

As Rodriguez explains in the preface, his intention of telling his story is to help others avoid the pain and suffering he experienced; to show kids that they can escape the type of life that killed many of his friends. Because that’s not a life I’ve ever known, the book didn’t have that effect on me, but I was able to understand their difficulties.

Rodriguez eventually sees an escape and tries to bring his friends with him. Unfortunately for them, leaving that life is like deserting their family, not escaping from pain.

Reading this book is like a wake-up call; you see how different others’ lives are. You feel extremely lucky for what you have. His message is that it’s

always possible to extricate yourself.

When Rodriguez is 16, he

realizes gang wars, racism, and hatred need to stop. If the world were able to recognize this,

future generations wouldn’t have to live that kind of life. .

by Alex Schuman,

Issaquah, WA

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 12:56 pm
i love this !
LiveLaughLoveWriter said...
Jan. 4, 2013 at 12:05 am
I read "Always Running" in my 8th grade English class, I feel like my teacher chose this topic (along with the zoot suit) because many of my classmates can honestly relate to the book. Most of the students attending my school at the time were exposed to gangs or in some cases "gang affiliated". I remember after we read this book, many of the students changed their ways because of this book.
ang3l said...
Apr. 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm
i read ur book long time ago and i love it when i was reading it i was thincking of my life hard times try to change on one way fix thing and things like thhat i ask my teacher how much would it be to u come see us on our school pero the school didnt have much money
TheAsianHeather said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm
I like how you said that the book helped you open your eyes.This is a really good review!I like it!
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