1. On page 218, Luis considers how far he has come along, recalling how he was treated as a â€œpariahâ€ when first attending school in Watts as a child, and â€œlabeled a failureâ€ in high school. Is what Luis accomplished possible for everyone? Why or why not?
2. On page 219, Luis notes that the â€œSpanish had been beaten out of (him) in the early years of school while he simultaneously failed to â€œlearn English very well either.â€ He declares that this is the â€œpredicament of many Chicanos.â€ What does he mean by this last statement? How are Chicanos (Mexican-Americans) trapped in a sense by their dual-cultural heritage? How does this lead to their marginalization?
3. Luis believes the L.A. County sheriffs seem invested in destroying any semblance and possibility of peace between the Sangra and Lomas barrios. What makes Luis feel this way? Why would the sheriffs want war between the different gangs general? How do they benefit from this? What is it they wish to prevent?
4. Luis stops attending Cal State after his release from jail. What reasons does he give for doing so? What exactly does he mean by saying â€œI preferred my own inquiries, reading everything I could when I needed to.â€ Are you surprised by the fact that he dropped out of school? Why or why not?
5. How does Chente convince Luis that the Lomas barrio and gang are in fact insignificant? Why do you think Chenteâ€™s argument is successful?
6. Ironically, how are the â€œHillsâ€ or Las Lomas finally brought down? What does this say about the relative power the gang actually had?
7. In regards to the story, why is Luisâ€™ encounter with Sangra leader Chava at the end of the book fitting? Why is this encounter significant? What does it show about Luis?