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November 23, 2016



                                     -  Roger Cannon

drive-by shooting. small city.
big mistake.
murdered latino gangster.
hunt down those responsible.

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17-year-old Jaime “Kimo” Flores is weeks away from graduation at Chavez High in Bell Gardens. Jaime has his foot in three worlds: he’s a talented art student; he’s a promising future cop in a Police Explorer program; and, as “Kimo,” he’s the informal leader of a crew of graffiti writers. A drive-by shooting results in the death of a gang member just released from jail. Things heat up when Posse leaders demand retribution for the death of their man. They are intent on first identifying, then hunting down the occupants of the drive-by vehicle. In this small community in southeastern Los Angeles, the continuation high school is considered one of the best in the state. Families work hard to earn a living. The police in town try to keep the streets safe, but these positives camouflage deadly and vindictive forces in the community. Nothing is quite what it seems. This story reveals a rare look into the guarded worlds of graffiti crews and street gangs. These subcultures are seen through Jaime’s eyes as he struggles to stay ahead of the malevolence that is cutting down those closest to him. Jaime’s worlds can no longer be separated. He must choose before others choose for him.

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Wise Media Group (October 17, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1629670790
  • ISBN-13: 978-1629670799

Roger CannonTHE AUTHOR

ROGER CANNON grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey, CA, and got his Bachelor’s Degree in French from CSULB and his Master’s from Whittier College. Today, he lives with his family in San Pedro, CA., the port of Los Angeles.

Over the course of his teaching career, he worked both ends of the socioeconomic teeter totter, serving in some of the wealthiest and poorest parts of Los Angeles. When challenged to bring Economics to life for continuation high school seniors, he created and co-wrote Slamdunk Economics using high interest, recognizable concepts from the sports, music, and film industries to inspire his students. Today, (20 years later) you can still find revised workbook editions in use based on this precept at Stanford, Duke and UC Berkeley.

Working with tough, street-smart, and direct Latino kids has given Roger rare access to the guarded subcultures of graffiti writers and gang kids. This was the spawning ground for his first crack at fiction. Just like with Econ, the stories are all there in front of us. It’s a matter of connecting the pieces and having them take shape and make sense.

His debut novel, Cross-Out was inspired when taking a class at UCLA. The first sequel, Roll ‘Em, is due in 2017. The third, The Red Squeeze, a Scandinavian-based story is targeted for a 2018 release.

His general philosophy is pretty simple – pick a worthy target, aim at it, keep moving forward, enjoy the ride, and reach the destination. This philosophy has taken him to managing a World Champion team in baseball (16-18 year-olds), running with the bulls in Pamplona, experiencing most of the world’s great maelstroms, walking the entire Camino de Santiago, and writing decent books.

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All I had to do was read the back cover and I immediately knew I had to read this one.    The author gave very well described characters that you can picture in your mind.   Chago, is the main character and as you read you start to feel for him. You want thing to work out well for him. He's in a bad place and it's hard to see a way out.  I did find that parts of the story were a little slow and it was easy to want to lay the book down, but I forged ahead and was glad I did.   The author gives you gangs and their leaders, drive by shootings, murders and the hunt for the murderer.  These are everyday things in the lives of some of our youth and young people in the urban cities.   The youth have so many ways to get drawn into the evil, dark recesses of life.    I liked how the author had the police reach out to the youth, trying to establish some kind of relationship.   I just can't get over the fantastic detailed descriptions the author gives of the characters and the city scenes.  They leave a vivid image in your mind long after you've finished the book.  The books name - Cross-Out is a symbol in the world of graffiti crews and gangs.  It's a disrespect beyond disrespect.   This puts Jaime(Kimo) Flores in a struggle to decide if he should remain a grafitti artist, a student or remain both.  The Cross-Out could be coming his way and if it does, will justice prevail, gang justice or justice of the law?   The streets are dark and dangerous for everyone, especially our youth.  It doesn't matter if it's night or day.  They are dark and dangerous.  But youth think they are invincible and nothing can touch them.  Some believe they can do what they wish, to whomever they wish without any consequences.  They are placed in situations that they have to decide one thing over another, and that may be difficult when both are bad.  It doesn't help that sometimes our youth have no direction, families are not together, when they are, they are sometimes dysfunctional. This makes for a hard life and difficult to grow up right when you're surrounding by the negative.   Youth are easily influenced at times and that often leads into trouble, even death. I would definitely recommend this book, not only to youth but to adults as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book 5 STARS. 



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