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BOOK CORNER: POPS the Club students share their stories in book

“In the Key of Love” is a collection of stories, poetry and artwork by the youth of POPS the Club.

“‘POPS’ stands for Pain of the Prison System, and POPS the Club is designed to heal the pain felt by those who have loved ones in prison,” said Amy Friedman, co-founder and executive director of the group.

“In the Key of Love” is the organization’s fifth anthology inspired by the courage, compassion and wisdom of young people whose lives have been impacted by incarceration.

“One in 14 children in the United States has a parent who is or has been incarcerated, and POPS teens also have siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, boyfriends and girlfriends inside,” Friedman said. “Their pain is real, but so is their resilience, and they have much to say that all of us need to hear.”

In this book, students in POPS the Club share their own stories that are deeply authentic and testify to the real experiences of young people dealing with the impact of incarceration on their lives.

“These are stories almost no one knows,” Friedman said. “This is a population that has been ignored and overlooked, so here is an opportunity to educate people, to educate both the broader school community and the broader public about the experience of young people who are dealing with the impact of incarceration on their lives…”

The student contributors paint a picture of what their lives really look and feel like. The pieces inside address a range of topics such as daily life with family and friends, neighborhoods, hobbies, dreams and more.

“In the Key of Love” is intended for those inside prisons and jails, middle school and high students, and for the open hearted. The book will no doubt awaken readers and offer a deeper understanding of what it means to incarcerate a loved one.

POPS the Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of teens with loved ones in prison or jail. The organization currently has eight clubs in Los Angeles area high schools. To learn more about them visit

“In the Key of Love: POPS the club Anthology V Stories, Poems and Artwork” is available for $21.50 online via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For purchasing in bulk (over 15 copies), email