Posts From Author: Torrey Maldonado


New York City’s current and former Chancellors have praised Torrey Maldonado as a top teacher and author. He has taught for over twenty years in his Brooklyn childhood hometown. His middle-grade titles include Tight, which won a Christopher Award and was named a Washington Post and NPR best book of the year, Secret Saturdays, and, most recently, What Lane?. Growing up, Torrey hated books because “they were boring or seemed to hate or dismiss people where I’m from.” Culturally responsive books and educators inspired him to teach and write. Voted a Top Latino Author and best Middle Grade and Young Adult novelist for African Americans, his work reflects his and students’ experiences and is praised for its current feel, realness, and universal themes. How has the current state of things impacted your writing life? Listen, this pandemic has had a HUGE impact on my writing. Before, if an interviewer asked, “Where do you write?” I’d answer, “Anywhere”. Now? Now I write in an underground quarantined bunker with a mask on and . . . I’m joking. I don’t write in a mask. I just write in quarantine. And another real fact? The pandemic DID change my writing-life. People appreciate my […]
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Seriously Questioning…Torrey Maldonado

Torrey Maldonado is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Tight and Secret Saturdays. He is a teacher in Brooklyn, New York, where he was born and raised. His books reflect his students’ and his experiences. On September 17, he will be speaking at House of SpeakEasy’s Seriously Entertaining show, No Sleep Till, alongside William Dalrymple, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and Helen Phillips.   What is your earliest memory involving reading or writing? Imagine me as a little Afro’d boy chef. Picture me as that boy tasting food then thinking, “This is good. Let me try to make it on my own” or “This could taste better if . . .” Now picture me as a little boy sampling comic books and early childhood books that way. I read as if I were food-tasting. Then I’d go write or draw thinking, “That comic or story was good. Let me see if I can redo it with my spin on it” or “Maybe if that story looked like this, then it might be better . . .” Where’d that habit come from? My mom. With one tiny question, she conditioned me to get into a big habit with reading and writing. After I read, she’d ask, “How could it […]
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