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Tattoos on the heart : the power of boundless compassion
Gregory Boyle
Adult Nonfiction BV4517 .B665 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this artful, disquieting, yet surprisingly jubilant memoir, Jesuit priest Boyle recounts his two decades of working with "homies" in Los Angeles County, which contains 1,100 gangs with nearly 86,000 members. Boyle's Homeboy Industries is the largest gang intervention program in the country, offering job training, tattoo removal, and employment to members of enemy gangs. Effectively straddling the debate regarding where the responsibility for urban violence lies, Boyle both recounts the despair of watching "the kids you love cooperate in their own demise" and levels the challenge to readers to "stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it." From moving vignettes about gangsters breaking into tears or finding themselves worthy of love and affirmation, to moments of spiritual reflection and sidesplittingly funny banter between him and the homies, Boyle creates a convincing and even joyful treatise on the sacredness of every life. Considering that he has buried more than 150 young people from gang-related violence, the joyful tenor of the book remains an astounding literary and spiritual feat. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

New York Times best-selling author and Jesuit priest Boyle has spent most of his life working with gang youth in the worst parts of Los Angeles. One does not have to be Christian to be inspired by the "homeys" whose stories he here recounts so frankly and sympathetically. Some are able to break free of their background of poverty and violence with help from Boyle's Homeboy Ministry, where Boyle provides them with the opportunity to do honest work, to remove tattoos that may prevent them from getting jobs, and to get some of "G's" sage advice and experience his great nonjudgmental capacity. Many of these boys and men do not make it, and Boyle ensures that listeners become invested deeply in all their stories and circumstances. He himself narrates, ably conveying humor, understanding, anger, and all other emotions this situation inspires. A beautiful, heartbreaking, and humanistic tale essential for all libraries; simply breathtaking.-B. Allison Gray, Santa Barbara P.L., Goleta Branch, CA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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