It Doesn't Have to Be This Way/No tiene que ser asi by Luis J. Rodriguez
Monchi likes to write poems, hang out with his cousin, and tell stories to his uncle. Then one day, a member of the local gang tells him it's time to join up. Monchi is scared but excited. The older boys give him the handshake, girls talk to him, and even teachers are afraid of him. But when a tragic event changes everything, Monchi must make an important decision. There is no easy answer to his dilemma, but the love and respect of his uncle help him find a way out. Written in both English and Spanish, It Doesn't Have to Be This Way is a compelling tale of a young boy's encounter with the world of gangs.