Young Authors’ Book Project

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When the Moon Is Up

By Students of Alain Leroy Locke High School
Foreword by Héctor Tobar

Available for Purchase

When the Moon Is Up is a book filled with the collective stories of young people in South LA. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1992 LA Uprisings and the fiftieth anniversary of Alain LeRoy Locke High School’s founding, this book is about their lives in and journeys to LA, reflecting the city’s many cultures and dimensions. On these pages, sixty-one students from Locke High School depict the modern lives of youth in stories full of responsibility, family, loss, courage, and favorite pairs of sneakers. These stories fill in any gaps in knowledge and change misconceptions about their neighborhoods, their countries, and this Los Angeles we call home.

Featuring a lesson plan from Facing History and Ourselves on facilitating difficult classroom conversations. Including student interviews with community leaders Victoria Brown, Sam Joo, Katherine Kim, Rose Salseda, and Aqeela Sherrills

Click Here for Photos of the Project

In your book, you have tackled one of the biggest events this big city has ever seen. The days in 1992 when the city burned and seethed, and the aftermath of those events. I lived through that “uprising,” that “riot,” or as the Spanish-speakers of the day called it, “los quemazones,” the great burning. I dreamed then of a kinder, more just city—a place where young people believed that words and ideas could be as powerful as rocks, gunfire, and flames. Now that day has arrived.
— From the foreword by Héctor Tobar, author and journalist

“A quarter century after the events that formed a global snapshot of Los Angeles, this book and the stories within are defined by these students, who are the present and the future of this city in the world’s imagination. May we step up to support them and ensure their success as they reach for the future for which we all hope.”
— From the Editors’ Note 

Click Here for a Selection of Excerpts from the Book


Read “South L.A. Revisited, 25 Years After the Rodney King Riots” here.

When the Moon Is Up Quoted The New York Times

“The answer I had to offer students like her was that they should have faith in their own abilities to transform Los Angeles and the United States into better places to live. And they had already started.

With the help of 826LA, a nonprofit group focusing on youth literacy, Locke students had just written a book about the legacy of the 1992 riots, an event that unfolded before they were born. They interviewed black, Latino and Korean-American residents about that experience, and offered their own descriptions of daily life in one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods.” Héctor Tobar


Learn more about When the Moon Is Up:


To order the book on pre-sale click here, or pick up a copy in store at the Time Travel Mart in May. 

Photos Courtesy of Alex Rapada Photography.