Parents' Guide to


By Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

12-year-old boy chooses hope over violence in candid novel.

Black boy in boxing ring and same boy drawing on a sketch pad

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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In this compelling story, author Torrey Maldonado takes a candid approach to tough subjects and takes a strong stand for Black men and boys. In Hands, the author does not flinch from the reality that men sometimes commit violence against women and each other. He doesn't also doesn't whitewash life in an impoverished community where a drug dealer is a benefactor. However, the primary portraits he provides of Black men are men who are "trees," strong, smart, nurturing protectors of their community.

The young readers this book is intended for can't be sheltered from the negative situations presented in the story. They already know, maybe more than they want to. The purpose of this book is to tell them they're not alone and give them hope for a better future.

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