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The old tower of the Mariachi Hotel, First and Boyle of East Los Angeles. Jimmy Ojotriste, Ray Chin and Vic Salcedo used a roof vent to make it their rehearsal space. Ray's apartment is just to the left.

The Music of Jimmy Ojotriste

INGRAM ISBN 978-0-9965594-2-3

AMAZON ISBN 978-0-9965594-0-9

Lunita Hispanic Press - Phoenix 2015


Jimmy survived a horrific crash in Tijuana. An eye-maker in the borderlands made him a beautiful but bewitched and heartsick glasseye. Along with Ray Chin and Victor Salcedo, the three boys are raised by a surrogate father as street musicians, and they work the boulevards of East Los Angeles. At twenty, Jimmy still walks with a sweeping drop-foot, keeps hair long to hide scars and is known as “Ojotriste,” the mariachi with one-sad-eye. He is in love with a dazzling, impossible flamenco dancer. Ray has bone cancer, is also in love, but refuses hospitals. Victor, handsome and practical, wants a new life. This will be their last year, and in Vic’s unfinished low-rider, the three boys cross the city, using music to make sense of sex and love, faith and loss.

“Romantic in the biggest sense of the word.” Goodreads Review

"Reminded me of reading Marquez for the first time.” Goodreads Review

The Good Lessons: A Teaching life with Gangs, Delinquents & Troubled Teens

The compelling stories of gang involved and delinquent teens whose lives are transformed when an Indian reservation and a neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles adopt radical education strategies to win back their kids.


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Shelter: Notes from a Detained Migrant Children's Facility

Available in Spanish as: Refugio: Notas de un centro de niño migrantes detenidos

The first book written from inside the immigration shelters for  unaccompanied minors.  Unforgettable stories and  a remarkable look at the daily workings of a large shelter and the politics of reunification for the children inside.

Shelter: notes from a detained migrant children's facilty
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