Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa is a story about sixteen year old Hailey who is from a poor family in New Orleans coping with abandonment, unemployment, violence and intertwined with her interpretations of religion and God. Hailey, the youngest child, feels the weight of her family’s problems on her shoulders. She feels abandoned by her mother who has isolated herself from the family after suffering a back injury followed by a miscarriage. After the miscarriage, her mother has become born-again and there are only pictures of Jesus and the ultrasound of the dead baby. Hailey figures that in her family “it was as if you had to be dead to get noticed.” Her mother prays for the family to become saved. But Hailey thinks no one is listening. Her father has lost his job and spends much of his time drinking and gambling, so Hailey drifts into spending more and more time with her older brother, Cyrus. Cyrus who has already been arrested three times, hangs around an older ex-con with a violent past named Moses. Moses says he is starting his own church. He steals his sermons from and another preacher and whose idea of “saving” people is to go and “beat the Word of God” into them. As Hailey goes through the motions of daily living, and hanging out with Cyrus, she participates in ever slightly more immoral actions. In every situation you are drawn in, rooting for Hailey to do the right thing, to start herself on the road to redemption, but you are not surprised when she doesn’t. Hailey’s parents are so wrapped up in their own problems they don’t see the disintegration of their family happening around them until we reach the final inevitable but avoidable conclusion.