Want to read an intense autobiography?

The first time I heard about Casey Diaz was on the Becket Cook podcast. Becket Cook was interviewing Diaz about his book, “The Shot Caller.” I was fascinated and so encouraged! From that interview, I thought I definitely needed to include it in MHM. The only problem was finding the time to read this book.

Thankfully, I have a 14 year old that was very excited to read The Shot Caller! Granted, when she started to describe what happened in the book, I felt incredibly guilty. The verbal descriptions of violence and sheer depravity were shocking. I wasn’t sure if this was the best book for her at this particular moment (again, she’s 14).

To be honest, I don’t think that in general, this would be appropriate for Middle Schoolers. Although Diaz’s back story seemed to be appropriate to include with descriptions of how far Diaz had fallen, it was still A LOT to digest. Especially for my middle schooler. The book was very descriptive and did not leave out details. I definitely believe it’s important to understand where Diaz came from in order to appreciate his conversion all the more. But still, it’s a lot. So keep that in mind, while also remembering that some 14 year olds can handle the content just fine.

As you will see, God most certainly had a plan for Casey. And although this story sounds like we made some parts up, it’s all true. God is so good!

Enjoy the review!

The Shot Caller” is an amazing true story about a man named Casey Diaz. Casey Diaz was born in El Salvador but his parents moved to the U.S. when he was still very young. His family was poor and they had a small apartment in downtown Los Angeles, California. Casey’s father was an alcoholic and very abusive, especially towards his mother. He was constantly beating her. Because of this, Casey stayed out of the house as long as possible.

This made Casey see things no kid should have seen. He would come home to his mother’s blood splattered on the wall and her curled in a ball with bruises all over her. Casey knew it wasn’t normal, but had no idea what to do about it. Casey also started witnessing kidnappings and murders, but this only taught him that life is cheap and could end at any time. Soon he became friends with a kid named Mike. They started stealing things together, not caring about the consequences or getting caught.

When Casey was ten, he became friends with a 15 year old named Pedro. Pedro introduced him to the gang life and taught him all the rules and showed Casey how to do things no ten year old should ever do. Casey continued with this life until he was 16 years old, when he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and 52 counts of armed robbery.

In jail, Casey was the “shot caller.” He had created such a name for himself that the other inmates appointed him in charge of their weapons and calling the shots. This didn’t last long though, because Casey was soon transferred to a different prison and put in solitary confinement. And every month, a woman would come up to his door and tell him that God is going to use him. Casey didn’t listen to the woman, but then God spoke to Casey through a dream and Casey became a Believer. Casey came out with his new faith, but was quickly turned against and was beat up every day. He received many death threats, but through it all, still believed in God.

This was an amazing book that had a major impact on me and my faith. There is a lot more to this story, but there was so much I didn’t even know where to start. Casey answered some of my own questions about my faith and it truly was a beautiful story. It was definitely very violent and descriptive, but was still an incredible book.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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