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8 Ball Chicks
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8 Ball Chicks

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  614 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Dismissed by the police as mere adjuncts to or gofers for male gangs, girl gang members are in fact often as emotionally closed off and dangerous as their male counterparts. Carrying razor blades in their mouths and guns in their jackets for defense, they initiate drive-by shootings, carry out car jackings, stomp outsiders who stumble onto or dare to enter the neighborhood ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published November 3rd 2010 by Anchor (first published December 1st 1996)
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Petra X
For most Latino girls their entry into womanhood is with the pouffy dresses of their quinceanara. For these girls it is when their mother gives them a gun.

There are many different styles of parenting, most are neither universally praised or condemned, but in this book, the one detailed can only be describe as the most fucked-up parenting ever. This is talking about Latino girls in gangs in LA. For her daughter's 16th birthday, the mother gave her a gun. But this Catholic mother also threw her o
Aug 19, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book just blew me away. Or maybe that's a poor choice of words for a book about gang violence. These poor lost girls that Sikes wrote about-sometimes I just wanted to shout at them, "Stop doing stupid things! Straighten out your life! Be good!" Then I just wanted to hug them and take care of them. The stories of violence, abuse by males, rape, murder, drugs, oblivious parents, were enough to make my blood run cold. It's a little over ten years since this book was written and I would lo ...more
This book was gripping and disturbing at the same time. I really wasn't surprised at anything I read though - I lived in L.A. for 25 yrs and used to work on 104th St near the LAX airport - not too far at all from 110th St - Lennox territory. So for me, the L.A. section was the most interesting. I liked the fact that the author did a follow-up on L.A. also since I was curious about the future for Coco, TJ and Shygirl. It was sad that Coco wanted to make her life better but ended up being homeless ...more
Dec 01, 2010 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about different girls in gangs ; the author "Gini Sikes" is interviewing different girls about there expiriences in gangs life and how do they feel being in one and what did they do most of them did really bad things to other people and there enemie. Most of your the girls "Gini" was interviewing was o.g's(Old Gangsters) what were in gangs.

Yes ofcourse i like this book ; i didn't like to read but this is an interesting book and it could help me by making the right choices and think
Jul 26, 2009 Meridith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sikes writes about the time she spent doing non-participant observation research with female gang members in three areas of the US. Some might find the jumping from place to place a bit confusing when trying to keep the "characters" straight. Having worked with female gang members during a similar time frame to Sike's research, I can say from experience that she does a great job portraying the difficult situations in which these young women find themselves. Her ability to convey the gang subcult ...more
This book was raw, unflinching, terribly sad, jaw dropping and gut wrenching. This is the story of female gang members of all ages in a few cities around the country. It was a book of contradictions - women protected babies and discouraged birth control even though they assumed a life of poverty but placed no value on the life of a 10-year-old who could be initiated into the gang. It was a world I totally don't relate to, but was fascinated from start to finish.
Jul 27, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, I found it interesting that Sikes coul get tese girls to talk to her about their gang activity. I would like to read an updated version of this book, and see if girls roles in gangs has changed at all. I also have more questions about intervention and support for young girls. I would recommend this book for anyone who works with youth.
Dec 21, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very powerful, and riveting, this book examines a world most of us will never see. It is about her interviews with girls in gangs and her observations, and was written in the late 90s. I can't help but wonder if things are the same now, better, or worse. There were times I was filled with a sense of despair, times when I felt sad for these kids, times when I found it hard to sympathize, and times when I was happy for those who managed to escape the life on the streets. Very sad and eye-opening, ...more
Marina Derosa
Jun 03, 2014 Marina Derosa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very interesting. Since I am from the south, I am use to and aware of gangs and gang violence, but this book gives you such an insight on their lives throughout the gang-banging and hold-ups. These people seem almost as if they don't have any emotions. They do, but they have to hide those away in order to be accepted and survive. If not, you're the next one dead at the end of the street. I recommend this book to many people. It has so much information about gangs and violence, it's ...more
Apr 12, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! Gini Sikes, a journalist, spent a year travelling the US getting to know young girls who are involved in gangs. The stories can be quite heartbreaking and you wonder how the outcome will be but there are many instances of triumph, even though the triumph's may not be big in a 'regular' person's view.

She reveals the inner workings of girl gangs and the roles they play next to their male counterparts. Many end up becoming pregnant and leave the gangs that way and many 'weaker'
Dec 06, 2007 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last night, I finished reading Gini Sikes' 8 Ball Chicks. The book is a study of female gang members in Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, circa the mid-late 1990s. Sikes did a year of research, traveling around and talking to the girls themselves, their families, police, social workers, etc. Her level of involvement is amazing. She obviously cares about her "subjects" and her willingness to go into depth with them, and to examine herself as much as she is examining them, is tru ...more
Interesting look into the world of girl gangs in a few cities. The book focuses on a handful of girls from LA, San Antonio, and Wisconsin (Milwaukee, maybe?). Mostly based on interviews of girls and their families, friends, and compatriots, the book reveals first-hand accounts of the survival of girls in violent situations.

I wasn't particularly impressed by anything the author says, but it is a wonderful vehicle to the thoughts and motivations of the girls themselves. As a voice for these young
Sep 26, 2007 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to check out the life of girls in gangs
I liked this book but for some reason it took me awhile to finish it. Excellent portal to the life of girls with real problems. I have a new sadness in my heart for these girls and boys alike. The environment these kids grow up in is what they become. However you want to look at it, they all want parents and someone to tell them the word "No". Just to show that they care. There are so many kids in the world today that just want someone to trust them and to show them love and to hug them and tell ...more
Jessica Marie
Shocking. Disturbing. And I couldn't put it down. But the most surprising part? A section of the book centers on girl gangs in Milwaukee, my city.
Oct 16, 2014 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Masterful job by author to pull together a horrid reality for too many people. Very well done and so very heart breaking.
Jan 23, 2016 Stacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars... Very interesting look into the life of girls in gangs back in the early 90's. I would love an update on the lives of these girls since this was over 20 years ago.
Alison Miller
Mar 07, 2014 Alison Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very tough read based on the lives of real people in some of the toughest situations.
Aug 17, 2009 Racheltd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masi...he is all about carson.
Recommended to Racheltd by: Megan
i learned that gangs are stupid. and girl gangs are full of rape and a need to belong. women are stupid...especially those in poverty.
i enjoyed the book. i think gini sikes did a good job in making the book interesting...i was never bored. i walked away hating the 90s...and what the gangs did to america. a lot of drama. a lot of cholas.
i wish these women would stand up for themselves and for women and not allow these men to rule their lives. its not okay to have kids at 13. its not okay to shoo
Aug 15, 2012 Noora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Todella kiinnostava kuvaus oikeiden jengityttöjen elämästä. Ei kovinkaan rauhoittava kirja näin joulun alla luettavaksi, mutta todella mielenkiintoinen. Suomalaisen näkökulmasta asioita on aika vaikea kuvitella tosiksi, mutta se on samalla myös tietynlainen itsepuolustuskeino. Jos kaikki kauheudet pystyisi kuvittelemaan ja näkemään tosina, voisi pian olla mielenterveysongelmissa... Eniten sääliksi käyvät lapset, jotka mitä todennäköisimmin päätyvät itsekin jenginuoriksi ilman vaihtoehtoja. Kiinn ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Lianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So interesting!
First, I will admit that I only read half this book, as that was all that was required for my course and I photocopied the reading. I look forward to when I can purchase the book and finish it. But, I found this book to be a quick read. I was very engaged and intrigued to hear more about the extremely difficult lives of the main characters. Sikes does an excellent job of portraying the events and stories of the young women on the's very sad, but it also makes me want to DO SOMETHING ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
best non fiction book I've read in ages.
Lauren (strangled)
Not quite what I was hoping for... I wanted to read more about the bigger picture of girls in gangs, the unique issues faced by women and the social constructs that create them. Instead, it was full of individual shock stories, which tell you all the gory details of how fucked up, violent, and painful gang life can be - especially for females - but without relating these stories to the bigger picture of what it means to be a woman, or how to resolve the problems these girls faced.
Dec 01, 2010 Jasmin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
8 ball cj=hicks is about three dirffernt girls life in gangs. They talk about what they have to go through and all there struggles. Even some good things with being in a gang by getting the sense of family when they have no where to go.

I thought the book was good because when you hear or read about things that other people have to go through it is very interesting. I would recommend this book to people who like a lot of drama and suspence
Jan 11, 2015 Letitia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Great book.
I liked that the author actually got to know these girls and become a part of their lives.
This gives the book more credibility than the usual books on this subject.

I also began to feel a lot of sympathy for these girls.
Having been born into lives of poverty, neglect and abuse, they are left to fend for themselves.
No wonder they seek the company and security of gang life.

Really great book, enjoyed it immensely.
May 16, 2015 Izabela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a compelling look into the world of girl gangsters told from the point of view of a reporter who got to know them. Sikes tells these girls' stories with honesty, candour, and, most importantly, respect. She weaves the tales together seamlessly, pulling the reader into the world she is opening up. This is an important look into a world most people don't get to see.
Oct 19, 2008 Krista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent narrative of the lives of three different groups of girls and women in gangs. The author's interviews and observations are highly colored by her "oh my god" middle-class, white shock, but she owns up to it. I wish there had been more discussion of sexuality in this book - just like Pretty in Punk, it was all about the straight girls.
Jul 14, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was quite interesting. The small print was an initial turn-off, but I quickly got over that. The author did a nice job of giving the reader a peek into the lives of many different gang girls. As someone who has worked with that population, however, I was left with many more questions than answers.
Austin Peters
This is a great book if you're interested in learning more about gangs. It's very readable and you get a glimpse into the life of gang bangers. Some of it is a little difficult to read, but it shows how dedicated Gini Sikes is to her book that she would intentionally place herself in dangerous situations.
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Gini Sikes is an author, producer, television writer and a print and broadcast journalist. Keenly focused on issues of youth, violence and the criminal justice system, Sikes has covered stories from homeless teenagers in the U.S. to genital mutilation in Africa for the Village Voice, Vibe, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper's Bazaar and others. She has investigated the impact of draco ...more
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