With this riveting autobiography, Mona Ruiz and co-author Geoff Boucher spin a gripping tale of one woman’s private war to escape the tentacles of the street gangs that have carved her barrio into turfs where one misstep leads to violence.This engrossing memoir charts Ruiz’s journey toward self-identity, tracing the tortuous path of her life–a life in which Ruiz assumed contradictory roles: gang chola, high school drop-out, disowned daughter, battered wife, welfare mother, student, and policewoman. At each step in the journey, Ruiz faced violence, ridicule, and skepticism. She nevertheless prevailed in exchanging her badge of social defiance for one of protecting her community.This eloquent monument to courage and triumph against all odds will inspire every reader who has at some time felt overwhelmed by the daunting challenges life brandishes.Lexile Measure:/ 940LCopyright 1997. 5 ;frac12; x 8 ;frac12; inches. Softcover, 288 pages.