Secret Saturdaysby Torrey Maldonado
Sean is Justin's best friend - or at least Justin thought he was. But lately Sean has been acting differently. He's been telling lies, getting into trouble at school, hanging out with a tougher crowd, even getting into fights. When Justin finally discovers that Sean's been secretly/b>
An urban novel with the power and intensity of Walter Dean Myers's books
Sean is Justin's best friend - or at least Justin thought he was. But lately Sean has been acting differently. He's been telling lies, getting into trouble at school, hanging out with a tougher crowd, even getting into fights. When Justin finally discovers that Sean's been secretly going to visit his father in prison and is dealing with the shame of that, Justin wants to do something to help before his friend spirals further out of control. But will trying to save Sean jeopardize their friendship? Should Justin risk losing his best friend in order to save him?
— The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB)
“This is a story of friendship, survival, deception and relationships…a fast read, entertaining and high interest.”—Library Media Connection
— Library Media Connection
“Torrey Maldonado sticks his finger in an all too familiar hole of a brokenhearted urban community. Playground tough with a sweet center.”—Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor-winning and New York Times bestselling author of One Crazy Summer — Rita Williams Garcia
Gr 5–8—Friends Justin and Sean, both 12, live in the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, are Puerto Rican and African American, and have absentee fathers. Sean is straying further from their friendship, avoiding their scheduled sleepovers, lying, and not doing as well in school. He's been getting into more and more fights when he used to advocate dissing instead of fists. Where is Sean going on Saturdays? Maldonado explores issues of manhood, friendship, and family in this heartfelt, humorous, and poignant urban tale.
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Meet the Author
Torrey Maldonado is ateacher born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where hestill lives. Secret Saturdays is inspired by his life and theexperiences of his students.
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Friendship can be tricky. BFF has certain conditions that it sometimes takes a lifetime to understand. Being there for a friend seems simple - until it's not. Justin and Sean have a lot in common. Both are half Black and half Puerto Rican. Both are being raised by single mothers intent on raising good, upstanding sons. Both are good students and behave in school. However, all that is beginning to change. Justin knows that Sean is an expert at dissing. Sean's mother has always said disputes should be handled with words, not fists. Recently, Sean's words have become vicious and are handing out hurts that sting as much as punches. Sean's taunts are aimed at kids without fathers or at those with deadbeat dads. This gives him plenty of targets, but Justin wonders about the fact that Sean's own dad is absent from his life. When Justin and another buddy, Kyle, witness Sean and his mother leaving the housing project in the wee hours of the morning, they feel a bit betrayed, since Sean was supposed to have been with them for the evening. When the two friends confront Sean, he boldly lies. That lie is just the beginning. What follows is even more shocking for those who care about Sean. His behavior is changing dramatically. His taunts have turned to fist-fights resulting in detentions and even a suspension from school. His grades tank as the mysterious trips with his mother continue. Justin doesn't understand how best friends who previously trusted each other with everything can have secrets like the ones Sean is keeping. Debut author Torrey Maldonado takes on teens and teen relationships in the inner city. He has firsthand knowledge of just how tough it is to grow up surrounded by negative influences and how hard it is to resist temptation when there is no male role model to look up to. Justin and Sean and their other friends realistically depict the difficult times friends can face when it comes to family and secrets meant to save face or protect. Maldonado presents his story so readers can feel both sides of the situation as they listen to Justin's narration and as they try to puzzle out Sean's secret life.