THE NATIONAL AMBASSADOR FOR YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE Meg Medina says grab HANDS & it’s “full of VOICE, HEART. It moves HARD & QUICK LIKE A MOVIE, LIKE A BOXING MATCH“.
A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD GOLD STANDARD SELECTION
Grades 5 and up
Trev would do anything to protect his mom and sisters, especially from his stepdad. But his stepdad’s return stresses Trev—because when he left, he threatened Trev’s mom. Rather than live scared, Trev takes matters into his own hands, literally. He starts learning to box to handle his stepdad. But everyone isn’t a fan of his plan, because Trev’s a talented artist, and his hands could actually help him build a better future. And they’re letting him know. But their advice for some distant future feels useless in his reality right now. Ultimately, Trev knows his future is in his hands, and his hands are his own, and he has to choose how to use them.
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School Library Journal, starred review
“Packs a punch with a rapidly progressing plot and short chapters” . . . “This is an absolute must-have for every middle grade library collection.”
“An accessible, engaging, and heartfelt story.”
“A 12-year-old boy grapples with his ability to handle conflict without using his hands. Brief chapters, a fast-paced narrative, and simple language make this an accessible read. The characters feel relatable, and Trevor’s love for his community comes through clearly in the first-person narration. A short story with a lasting impact.”
“This intense page-turner by Maldonado (What Lane?) perceptively explores the complexities of one Black tween’s experience facing difficult situations, the effect that violence has on one family’s future, and the value of community when working through hardship.”
Hands in the press
- Read Betsy Bird’s REVIEW of Hands for her School Library Journal Fuse #8 Production blog, which she says “Torrey taps into a kind of writing we’ve been in dire need of for a very long time. And with his authentic voice and whole heaping helpfuls of heart, his latest book Hands is one that your kids are NOT going to want to miss”.
- Matthew Winner features Torrey Maldonado on The Children’s Book Podcast on it’s very first episode of the 2023. Winner says, “Torrey, your books are unputdownable. You have a beautiful way of writing micro chapters and I love how you played with the idea that experiences or circumstances can propel us or grow us in ways we might not expect.”
- Hands picked as one of “12 OF THE BEST NEW CHILDREN’S BOOKS OUT JANUARY 2023.”
- Listen to Kate Narita’s interview with Torrey Maldonado on Chalk + Ink podcast. Host says, “HANDS is a must have for upper elementary and middle grade classrooms.”