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Book Review: Tattoos on the Heart

Updated on April 26, 2017
DeborahDian profile image

Deborah Dian, a published author and voracious reader, often shares books with her friends and family. She loves to write reviews!

Graffiti and Gang Infested Neighborhoods are Common Across America - This Book Endeavors to Change That in Los Angeles

The graffiti around the city of Los Angeles is just a minor problem that the gangs cause.  They are also a symbol of the crime and lost lives that seem to come with the gangs.
The graffiti around the city of Los Angeles is just a minor problem that the gangs cause. They are also a symbol of the crime and lost lives that seem to come with the gangs. | Source

Help Save Young People from the Gangs of Los Angeles

Decades ago, a Catholic priest in Los Angeles struggled with a difficult issue. How could a loving priest lead his congregation to God, when the members of his congregation were barely surviving in a gang-infested community in the heart of Los Angeles? How could he make life better for the young people he had watched grow up from birth until death ... which often came when they were far too young?

Rev. Gregory Boyle decided he wanted to make a difference in the lives of the young people in his community. He wanted to lead them away from hopelessness and despair to a place where many of them could get a new start in life ... to a place of hope.

As a result of his quest for a better life for young people living in the barrio of Los Angeles, Father Boyle founded Homeboy and Homegirl Industries. These businesses helped former gang members learn usable work skills, including proper food handling, how to cook, and how to wait tables. As simple as these skills may seem, they were life-changing for young adults who had never before possessed any marketable job skills.

However, even as these young people developed new skills, Rev. Boyle realized many of them were still not ready to work in the outside community because, in many cases, they were covered in gang tattoos. As a result, the proactive priest purchased tattoo removal equipment. Over the years, he helped thousands of former gang members improve their appearance and their job skills so they could go out and find good jobs anywhere they wanted.

In order to fund this operation, Father Boyle wrote "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion," (available below) a non-fiction book which is both heart-warming and heart-breaking. In it, he recalls the stories of dozens of the gang members he has worked with over the years. He recounts the tales of those who have turned their lives around ... as well as a few who tried, but were lost in the gang wars anyway.

How can you and other members of our society turn young people into productive members of society? Father Boyle's approach speaks for itself. When you purchase his book, which is available in print, for the Kindle or as an audio book, you are improving the lives of young people and helping them stay out of gangs. Proceeds of the sales go towards funding this worthwhile gang intervention program. Where else can you buy a book and, perhaps, save a life?

You Can Buy the Book from Amazon Using the Direct Link Below

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Until I read this book, I didn't realize how hard it is for many young people to get out of the gangs in their neighborhood. Even with help, it can still be hard ... although some people do make it. This book contains some heart-breaking stories, but also many encouraging ones, full of hope. It was one of the most inspiring books I have ever read.


The Value of Gang Intervention

While gangs are a problem in Los Angeles, they are also a serious concern in nearly every other major city in the United States, as well as some suburban areas.

Father Boyle has done more than save the lives of thousands of young people in Los Angeles. He has also created a blueprint to guide individuals and organizations which hope to save the lives of gang members in other cities.

We must not give up on these young people. Father Boyle's work proves that these gang members often want to become a productive part of society, they just don't know how to make that happen. When the community provides them with the right opportunities, as well as incentives and encouragement, many gang members will take advantage of these programs.

Let's not turn our back on this segment of our population. We need them to become productive members of society as much as they need our help.

Father Boyle has shown us that we can change lives ... and that it benefits us, as well as them, when we put in the effort.

Watch The Video Above to Learn More About This Ministry

Listen to Father Boyle talk about his mission to help the gang members in Los Angeles. He is a powerful speaker and his project may be just what your community needs to start something similar where you live.


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    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      This is one of the most moving books I have ever read. It is a book that changes lives. In fact, even if people just buy it and don't read it, the profit goes to support Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention program in Los Angeles. However, trust me, if you buy it, you will want to read it. You will never forget the stories of these young gang members and their lives in L.A.

    • CoolFool83 profile image


      4 years ago

      Seems very uplifting and positive!

    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Arachnea: This is a wonderful book. I hope you have had a chance to read it.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 

      5 years ago from Texas USA

      I think this is an awesome endeavor. It's heart breaking to see so many promising lives snuffed out too soon, made meaningless by forces greater than the individual or otherwise diminished through hopelessness. I'm pleased to see it's available for Nook. It's on my TBR list.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      5 years ago

      How wonderful about people turning their lives around.


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