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Nicholas H. Bradley

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Press Release

Contact: Ann Starr



By Nicholas Bradley

Rickie Trujillo lives among the poorest Angelinos in the East San Fernando Valley, where Latino kids have little guidance, hope, or dreams of long life. As a highly regarded high school baseball star, Rickie has a way out. Will he get there? Or will the abandonment by his parents, the loss of his grandfather, and the mistrust of his teachers and officials cause him to sacrifice his baseball talent to his anger?

Based on actual events reported in the Los Angeles Times by then staff writer Michael Connelly, Rickie Trujillo tells the story of one particular teenage boy and of many, unnoticed like him, whose lack of nurture, justice, and adult engagement leaves them having to grow up on their own.

We meet Rickie on a hot Friday afternoon arriving at school in handcuffs under police escort, not for the first time. And he can’t just dismiss being caught for truancy, not while he’s still on probation for car theft. Still, he doesn’t hesitate to sneak out of detention, and he can’t stop himself from provoking a teacher into a serious conflict. When the school day ends, the freedom of the weekend is clouded by the knowledge that Monday will bring consequences even he, for all his hardened disregard, is going to regret.

Rickie is a travieso, sometimes innocent and sometimes terrifying.  He’s a worry or a threat not only to his friends, his coach, and his family, but to himself as well. Isolated from most people and disassociated, Rickie experiences a growing and volatile anger at life.

The story of Rickie Trujillo’s weekend will frighten you, break your heart, and dredge up compassion from places you never expected to find it. You’ll experience the dusty, hot streets of forgotten neighborhoods, and you will understand.

This novel will convince you that America squanders the poor, immigrant generations and the people it doesn’t know well enough to want; that our ignorance and indifference create grievous loss to our society.

This is a story for America and American education in 2017.

Nicholas Bradley knows his subject intimately. He worked as an English and ESL teacher in junior high, middle, and high school in Los Angeles throughout his thirty-year career. The schools where he taught were in the center of neighborhoods of poverty and crime, gangs, drugs and graffiti, the setting of his novel, Rickie Trujillo. Many of the students he taught and tutored during his career were, like Rickie, active gang members and/or taggers.

During the ten years in Los Angeles preceding his teaching career, Bradley worked as a road musician, truck driver, messenger, and pianist. Rickie Trujillo is his first novel, based on his experience in schools, and on his wide acquaintance and daily life among students and the teachers, deans, cops, and probation officers who were his colleagues.


ISBN #978-0-9984906-2-5. Trade paperback. $16 retail. Format, 8” x 5.25”


Paper galleys are available from UPPER HAND PRESS in June. They can be requested and reserved by contacting the publisher:

Ann Starr,

614 886-2462

P.O. Box 91179, Bexley, Ohio 43209

For interviews, appearances, and signings by Nicholas Bradley, please contact Upper Hand Press, above.

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