This reading group guide for It Calls You Back includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Luis Rodriguez. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.INTRODUCTION
“You’ll be back.” These are the words that Luis Rodriguez hears as he is departing Los Angeles County Jail, where he was incarcerated for assaulting police officers and resisting arrest after he tried to intervene in the beating of a handcuffed young woman. Instead of predicting a return behind bars, these words serve as an onus for Rodriguez to make more of his life. Clawing his way out of street life and heroin addiction, Rodriguez embarks on a journey that will turn him into a successful journalist, community activist, praised poet, and most importantly, a family man.
But Rodriguez’s journey is anything but smooth. He must come to grips with his own struggles and failures as a husband and father while encountering his own father’s past demons. He fights valiantly to prevent his son from succumbing to the gang lifestyle, but in the end will watch him be hauled away in handcuffs. Amidst the fights, addictions, blackouts, battles, and hardship, Luis will emerge from his odyssey a changed