Lacey T The Murder Mystery of Jason Blackwell
Meherrin (muh-hair-ren), a tenacious and fashionable teen has her life disrupted with violence. Community members who lost their lives in the Trenches were assumed to be “at the wrong place at the wrong time.” However, Meherrin could not accept this assumption as the fate of Jason Blackwell or any other lost teens. Author Lacey T. brings in concepts about history from long ago and history that affects our society today. This book was written for teens so they can seek out truths that affect their lives dearly. “If we only knew how innately strong, smart and beautiful we really were, we’d risk our freedom every second to preserve our lives as well as those around us!” explained author Lacey T. Meherrin uncovered the truth behind Jason’s death, and was determined and resilient.
Meherrin and the Murder Mystery of Jason Blackwell
Lacey believes that all youth have the ability to change their community, because teens are discovering who they are and can adapt more readily in their lives. Lacey T’s first year as an English teacher was in southern California. There she saw teens raising money for a friend’s funeral. She listened to their stories, and uncovered their experiences and real world experiences in her book. “For me, it was a culture shock. When I started teaching in LA, students were going from classroom to classroom looking for funds to bury their deceased friends. In school, there were riots and fights between people living in certain hoods, and certain cliques. As a teacher, it was pretty disappointing and a lot of this stemmed from a problem with the adults and the community itself. It borderlined a battle zone where someone would end up mourning and grieving. The youth had their way of expressing grief but very rarely in the healthiest of ways. The community itself felt powerless and did not know their own power. The tone of powerlessness took violent turns “I will shoot up their hood, “or vice versa. You can turn a blind eye to the community, but mostly I would say the powerlessness or the economic powerlessness to get out of the community was crippling. The community suffered a lack of beneficial projects for kids, leaders and healthy functioning family units,”
Homicide is one of the top three leading causes of death in teens. The kids who are surviving those traumatic events do not gain the proper counseling nor learn the best coping skills to deal with these traumatic events. Meherrin and the Murder Mystery of Jason Blackwell brings the voices of those young people to light in order to inspire readers to think about what happens in their own community.
Lacey T writes to give a voice to the youth. When she became a teacher, not only did the violence affect her, but the number of books that her students could relate to was a concern of hers. She recognized that her students lacked reading and vocabulary skills to achieve at their current grade level. She also recognized that there were not enough stories that reflected the community that her students lived in. ”I write for youth to see themselves in literature and to make them think about the surrounding around them. My writing also challenges their vocabulary. I noticed that a lot of my students, particularly minority students, were not reading up to their grade level and lacked an interest in reading. As an English teacher, it was frustrating to me that my students were not interested in reading. So I wanted to insert myself into the independent market, and to hook them into and interesting drama, but to challenge them with the plot, language, and characters.
Lacey is looking to work with more libraries and schools so she can help minority students and all children face the challenges in their community. She is currently working on her second book, and her readers keep asking her when the next one is coming. Teachers and children who have read it are finding an interest in her book. She said that parents noticed that their children are more engaged to read her book when they were not as engaged to read other books. Books that inspired her as an author include Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God to name a few. You can find more information about Lacey T at www.lifelove777.com in addition to the Meherrin and the Murder Mystery of Jason Blackwell custom curriculum, vocabulary activity guide and audiobook.