Youth Responses to Visiting Writers

Posted: October 24, 2011 in On Our Minds

Here are the authors that have come to speak at Alameda County Juvenile Hall!

Some feedback from youth about author visits:

Ron Glodoski, How to Be a Successful Criminal: the Real Deal on Crime, Drugs and Easy Money
“Wutz craccin Ron? I’d like to thank you for inspiring me and opening my eyes. Everything you said made sense to me. I ‘ve been to a lot of these type things but this is probably the only one that I listened to the whole time and made me feel different about things. I also read your book and I liked it a lot. I read it thinking I was gonna get knowledge from it and I did but in a different way I was expecting. THANK YOU. –Joseph. ”
“I really appreciate Ron for coming. This was really great. Not everybody can do what Ron did for us today. Your words and work was interesting to me. Your book is good so far, I’m not finished yet.
— Danasha: great, positive, honest, talented, smart, that’s me.”

Yasmin Shiraz, Retaliation
“Dear Yasmin,
I really appreciate you taking the time to come out and share your thoughts with us. It really meant a lot to me. I really liked the book Retaliation. I learned from reading your book that retaliation is not always the best way to go.
From many experiences I’ve always retaliated and the problems only escalated. I think that your book is a book that all teens should read. It may prevent something that might have been ready to take place. Thank you very much. Sincerely, Keishawn. P.S. I may save that book for my son in the future. ”

Victor Rivas Rivers, A Private Family Matter
“My name is Chris, I read all of your wifes books and all of them gave me alot to think about. The books showed me how much I take for granted. I admire you for coming up here to share your story with us. Your life story is one of the books that inspired me to read more books like it. It also proved to me that life is not really what it seems, only what you make of it. Respectfully yours, Chris”

“Thank you for coming & talking to us about yo life story. I know if I went throgh what you have, I would have a fuck the world typ mood al the time. Shit, I do have a fuck the world typ moood just with the stuff I been throgh. THANK YOU. Sean”

Alison Van Diepen, Snitch, Street Pharm

“I am very thankful that you took time to talk to us about your books. I love your books. I think your brillent for ideas. I hope you will be able to do a book about Oakland. O and if you could I’d like to be one of the character in the book because I got a story to tell. ~ Damajia”

Azim Khamisa, From Forgiveness to Fulfillment

“Mr. Khamisa thank you for coming I was touch by the way you gave forgiveness to the murder that killed your son. Mr. Khamisa when you was talking it was making me feel much better. I did not want to hurt the people that killed my uncel because he would not give up his wallet. They stab him to death. But Mr. Khamisa I just want to thank you a lot for coming and thank you. From J.”

“Dear Mr. Azim Khamisa,
Thank you for taking your time to come in talk to us about your loss of 20 year old son. I really appreciate alot. It rally touched my heart. I know how you feel about your son because I lost my best cousin from gang violence too. But I never forgave the person that killed my cousin. But I will one day. But that day is not today. But thank you for coming to visit us here in Alameda County Juvenile Hall. Sincerly M.”

Luis Rodriguez, Always Running, The Republic of East LA

“I was one of the students who was in the multipurpose room when you said your life story. I gotta say you been threw alot to turn out to write good books, tell good stories, and inspire young people to turn their lives around. Threw my life I heard alot of motivational speakers none of which I felt like I felt you because I could relate to almost half of what you was saying. Especially when you told us about your son. I hope to see you again, not in here tho.” ~ Dante C.

“Yo speak yesterday was koo you weren’t bore’n like every body els and I readin you book right now I like it so far I just hope I can finish it before I get released or I might just have to cut with it. Ight, then stay up”  ~ Anthony S.

Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone

“Thank you for comin in and sharin your story with us. I was real touchin to me. To hear about what you did and still have such a positive attitude. You very inspirin to me, to leave my past and start over again. When I saw you I would never think that you went threw all that. You had this inacent look still like you never seen anything like that. Then your so succesfull. You make my life sound such a joke. I thought that I had a hard life growing up, compared to yours mines like a walk in Disney Land. Thank you for helping me open my eyes and giving me hope that I can make it in this life. Thank you for coming and speakin to D unit. Thank you.
Sincerely,  Anthony”

From Lois Brubeck, Juvenile Justice Commission: “I just heard Ishmael Beah at the lst Cong. Church.  Responding to a question about gangs in US, he said that he’d been at Juv. Hall today and it had been about the best group he’d ever spoken to–boys 13-18; how they’d been given his book and had read it…..  He said he’d been so impressed by how intelligent the boys were…
I just kept thinking of all the parallels, particularly as he was talking about the reasons for failure on the rehab program — they expected it to happen with only 8 mos program for boys who had been in the war for 10 years and then they set them out with no place to go, no learning programs for them, no reintegration to society…”

Erin Gruwell and Maria Reyes, Freedom Writers

“Dear Maria, Thank you for the advice you gave to me. I really understand what you were talking bout cause a lot of people told me I wasn’t going to be anything in life but a hood N-a, but I’m that one that’s got to prove them wrong. I really appreciate you coming up here talking knowledge. ~ Suave”

“Dear Erin, Your presentation had a great impact on me. I have had teachers like you in the past but didn’t take the time to listen and take their advice like your students have done. Ms. Gruwell, your words touched me it made me see that it’s better to listen rather than hear. Thank you for your time. ~James”

“I want to read the book Maria read, the Diary of Anne Frank. ~ Juanito”

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