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At-Risk Summer by clicking HERE.

Download the Educator’s Discussion Guide

Click AT RISK SUMMER Ed Guide to download.


The Story

In late June 2013, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo embarked on a cross country and self-funded book tour for her third novel, Fat Angie (Candlewick Press). Driving from Cincinnati, Ohio, she traveled thousands of miles while pitted against personal phobias and doubts all in an effort to inspire youth on the fringe.

Holding free creative writing workshops in libraries, traditional high schools, alternative education programs and even behind bars, Charlton-Trujillo guided kids to use their words and storytelling abilities to face their fears, embrace their imagination and most of all, never be counted out.

Authors appearing in the documentary are:

Laurie Halse Anderson, Kathy Erskine, Matt de la Peña,
A. S. KingMeg Medina, Ellen Hopkins,
Pat Zieltow MillerMichelle Embree


The film puts issues such as bullying, suicide, self-harm and homelessness into the spotlight. Featured in Publishers Weekly, MTV, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews and The Huffington Post, At-Risk Summer is a voyage into the heart of inspiration and a testament to showing up. Through Charlton-Trujillo’s humor and heart, see why Kirkus Reviews calls her “a force of nature.”


Hear The Original Score

Listen to the original score by Rob Gokee. Click the music icon.






Thoughts On The Movie


Kim Summers
English & Creative Writing Teacher
Urbana High School, Urbana, Illinois
Watching At-Risk Summer, I realized that more of my kids are at-risk than who are typically defined by this term. I want to follow e.E. Charlton-Trujillo’s model of finding ways to honor these kids – helping them find their power through writing.

Lisa Goldstein
Division Chief . Brooklyn Public Library

On that rainy Wednesday, Jose, one of our Directors of Culture and Character, brought a group of students to see the screening and hear author e.E. Charlton-Trujillo. It was a tremendous experience, and I know our students were receptive and gained so much depth from it. I’m looking forward to the release of the DVD to show to our school.”

Miriam Busch
Author & Activist
EVERY HIGH SCHOOL in this country should screen this film. Charlton-Trujillo connects on such a human level through the power of her art, the power of speaking our truth, and of telling and writing our own stories (literally and metaphorically).  This film reaches everyone, from valedictorian kids to “hopeless” loners – and very possibly would encourage those kids connect with each other, too.

Greg Neri
At-Risk Summer is a deeply felt journey into the scarred landscape of the teenage heart and how the power of sharing stories can light up the darkness and inspire others to overcome their own obstacles in life.

Janet Fox
Author & Former Middle School Teacher
Every kid deserves a chance – every kid has a unique voice – and this movie and the movement behind it reminded me to make it my personal responsibility to help especially those who are shunned, rejected, lost. I wish every teacher could see this film. I wish every politician would be required to watch this film. And I particularly wish that kids who feel lost would watch this film, because it inspires.

Cynthia Levinson
Author & Long-time Education Reformist 
This stirring, distressing, yet hopeful documentary about lost kids and Trujillo’s work with them needs to be seen by everyone who knows a child—or thinks they do.

Texas Book Festival 2014
I’m an educator on the East Side of Austin. I definitely work with youth who are definitely at-risk. Being a teacher in the classroom, you want to bring some of these innovative ideas. Bring excitement. But when you have someone come and take time out of their schedule and doesn’t have to be there, it has more weight. I don’t want to see my kids in the situation like many of the students in this film, but they could easily be there. I would love to be able to show At-Risk Summer in my class.

Hippodilly Circus (Educator Blog)
The film has been screened at festivals and at the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Minneapolis last year, but it needs to be seen by more people. It’s a powerful story of what can happen when you invite teens to take power over their own stories through art.












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