Father Boyle started Homeboy Industries nearly 20 years ago, which has served members of more than half of the gangs in Los Angeles. This collection presents parables about kinship and the sacredness of life drawn from Boyle's years of working with gangs.
“Destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality” (Los Angeles Times)—Tattoos on the Heart is a series of parables about kinship and redemption from pastor, activist, and renowned speaker, Father Gregory Boyle. For twenty years, Father Gregory Boyle has run Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles—also known as the gang capital of the world. In Tattoos on the Heart, he has distilled his experience working in the ghetto into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith. From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JC Penney fresh out of prison, you learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From ten-year-old Pipi you learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Lulu you come to understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the dark—as Father Boyle phrases it, we can only shine a flashlight on a light switch in a darkened room. This is a motivating look at how to stay faithful in spite of failure, how to meet the world with a loving heart, and how to conquer shame with boundless, restorative love.
Father Gregory Boyle’s sparkling parables about kinship and the sacredness of life are drawn from twenty years working with gangs in LA. How do you fight despair and learn to meet the world with a loving heart? How do you overcome shame? Stay faithful in spite of failure? No matter where people live or what their circumstances may be, everyone needs boundless, restorative love. Gorgeous and uplifting, Tattoos on the Heart amply demonstrates the impact unconditional love can have on your life. As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory Boyle created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people could work together and learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration. Tattoos on the Heart is a breathtaking series of parables distilled from his twenty years in the barrio. Arranged by theme and filled with sparkling humor and glowing generosity, these essays offer a stirring look at how full our lives could be if we could find the joy in loving others and in being loved unconditionally. From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JCPenney fresh out of prison, we learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From ten-year-old Lula we learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Pedro we understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the darkness. In each chapter we benefit from Boyle’s wonderful, hard-earned wisdom. Inspired by faith but applicable to anyone trying to be good, these personal, unflinching stories are full of surprising revelations and observations of the community in which Boyle works and of the many lives he has helped save. Erudite, down-to-earth, and utterly heartening, these essays about universal kinship and redemption are moving examples of the power of unconditional love in difficult times and the importance of fighting despair. With Gregory Boyle’s guidance, we can recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables and learn to find joy in all of the people around us. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.
A Jesuit priest and founder of Homeboy Industries traces his experiences of working with gangs in Los Angeles for three decades, sharing what his efforts have taught him about faith, compassion, and the enduring power of radical kinship.
The author describes his teenage years as a gang member in Chicago and how he changed his life to become a successful entrepreneur and personal life coach.
This is an updated edition of the story of the gang scene in East L.A. and Father Gregory Boyle's innovative ministry and economic development efforts in the area.
“Together, [these pictures and stories] do the work of great literature-gathering a force so true they ultimately tell a story that includes us all.” -Cheryl Strayed, from the Introduction From New York Times bestselling illustrator Wendy MacNaughton and bestselling author Isaac Fitzgerald--the stories behind the question, Why did you get that tattoo? Every tattoo tells a story, whether the ink is meaningful or the result of a misguided decision made at the age of fourteen, representative of the wearer's true self or the accidental consequence of a bender. Pen & Ink grants us access to the tattoos-and the stories behind them-of writers Cheryl Strayed and Roxane Gay; rockers in the bands Korn, Otep, and Five Finger Death Punch; and even a porn star. But it also illuminates the tattoos of the ordinary people living in our midst-from professors to thrift store salespeople, cafe owners to librarians, union organizers to administrators-and their extraordinary lives. Curated and edited by Isaac Fitzgerald, who sports twelve tattoos himself, each story “is like being let in on . . . secrets by . . . strangers who passed you on the street or sat across from you on the train” (Strayed) and features Wendy MacNaughton's gorgeously rendered full-color illustrations of the tattoos on black-and-white drawings of the bearer's body. At its heart, beneath its colorful skin, Pen & Ink is an exploration of the decision to scar one's self with a symbol and a story.
Thrown together by fate and friends, a bad boy tattoo artist and down on her luck waitress are about to find that opposites really do attract in the follow-up to Scarlett Cole's The Strongest Steel. All things, when placed under pressure, eventually break or leave a mark. Tattoo artist Brody "Cujo" Matthews knows how to keep things simple. Tattoos, a good time with friends—and steer clear of relationships.Abandoned as a child by a mother who refused to stick around to raise three boys she didn't want, he has no interest in getting involved with complicated women. That all changes when he’s asked to help organize his best friend Trent's engagement party, which means working with Trent's fiancée's best friend, Drea, the definition of high maintenance and sizzling curves. And the one woman he doesn’t want to walk away from. Andrea "Drea" Caron is broke and tired. After years of caring for her ailing mom, she's at the end of her rope trying to manage the piling medical bills, two jobs, and a life placed on hold. She certainly doesn’t need the added frustration of a sexy playboy tattoo artist messing up her best friend’s engagement party or her carefully balanced life. But when Drea witnesses the abduction of a woman from the café she works at, she can’t help but turn to the sexy, inked Cujo, who’s determined to prove to Drea that he’s someone she can count on forever. But as they attempt to bring the truth to light, someone is working to bring that forever to a sudden, deadly halt. The Fractured Heart is a full-length romance in the Second Circle Tattoos series that can be read as a standalone!
In Scarlett Cole's The Strongest Steel, Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning. The scars that decorate her back are just one more reminder of things she'd rather forget, the past she wants to leave far behind her, but before she can move on, she needs him. Tattoo artist Trent Andrews has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And there's no way in hell he's going to turn Harper away. Not when a swirling mix of tenderness and desire slams into him every time he sees her. She stirs feelings in him he thought were long gone... if he can only get past her carefully constructed defenses. As each session at Second Circle Tattoos gives Harper new ink to cover up old demons, it brings her closer and closer to Trent. His lingering touches seduce her, making her believe in a life without fear, where she can be happy, whole, in love. But when cryptic messages start appearing on Harper's phone, strange deliveries arrive at her door, and Second Circle is vandalized, Harper is convinced that her ex-boyfriend has tracked her down, and worse, that he knows about Trent. She ran from her past once before; this time will she have the strength to fight back? "This book gave me so many feels! Angst, passion, and love all set in Miami, my favorite city. I can't wait for more from this author and I can't recommend this book enough." - Sidney Halston, USA Today bestselling author of Against the Cage "An incredible story about healing, pain, and trust...you don't want to miss this one!" --New York Times bestselling author Jen McLaughlin
From the author of A Tangle of Knots and Absolutely Almost, a touching story about a boy who won't let one tragic accident define him. Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can't get rid of. Trent’s pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he's not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is. If only Trent could make that fresh start happen. It isn’t until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little—the girl with the mysterious scar across her face—that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren’t always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to find it. Praise for Lost in the Sun: A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year! * "Graff writes with stunning insight [and] consistently demonstrates why character-driven novels can live from generation to generation."--Kirkus Reviews *STARRED* * "Graff creates layered, vulnerable characters that are worth getting to know."--Booklist *STARRED* * "[A]n ambitious and gracefully executed story."--Publishers Weekly *STARRED* * "Weighty matters deftly handled with humor and grace will give this book wide appeal."--School Library Journal *STARRED* * "Characterization is thoughtful."--BCCB *STARRED* “In Lost in the Sun, Trent decides that he will speak the truth: that pain and anger and loss are not the final words, that goodness can find us after all—even when we hide from it. This is a novel that speaks powerfully, honestly, almost shockingly about our human pain and our human redemption. This book will change you.”—Gary Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy “Lisa Graff crafts a compelling story about a boy touched with tragedy and the world of people he cares about. And like all the best stories, it ends at a new beginning.”—Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author of A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way From Chicago Lisa Graff's Awards and Reviews: Lisa Graff's books have been named to 30 state award lists, and A Tangle of Knots was long-listed for the National Book Award. From the Hardcover edition.