“There are choices you have to make not just once”- Luis J. Rodriguez
In 1993, Luis Rodriguez wrote an autobiographical book Always Running. Within months the Book Banning made Always Running their number one target calling it ungodly, antifamily, radical, and harmful. Rockford school district member, Ed Sharp, went to the extent of stating, “I challenge anyone who knows how the mind works, after reading this book, not to be more likely to assume the lifestyle of a gang person and not to be more likely to have sex in the back of a car” (Sharp). Had Sharp truly read Always Running and understood the passion, he would understand Rodriguez is only speaking of true life and real events. On the other hand, Armando Solana, a high school student commented on the novel, “Reading this book is like living thorough it…what I learned from this book is to never give up no matter what” (Always Running preface).
Luis Rodriguez like many other’s knows first-hand that life is not always what its cut out to be. The quick success of his book, Always Running, has caused a large uproar within the community with it stories of unemployment, drugs, gangs, rape, abortion and prostitution. Even with its forbidden tales, Always Running has won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, the Chicago Sun-Times Book Award and was chosen as the New York Times Notable Book in 1993. Rodriguez’s aim was not to offend anyone, but simply to open the eyes of his son who had recently joined a gang, Tiffany L. Youngren could not have said it better when she exclaimed, “Rodriguez wields life together like a tool, splitting stereotype cleanly down the middle and scooping out characters that are complex and whole… the people in his stories abuse drugs, start fights, steal and gang-bang, but they are human above all” (Youngren).
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez with its explicit language, forbidden tales and gang warfare, describes exactly how life on the streets does not always have...