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The Children's Book Podcast

Jan 3, 2023

Torrey Maldonado shares HANDS, a story about Trevor, a twelve-year-old who is a gifted comic-book artist, a good student, and would do anything to protect his mom and sisters.


(6:19) “I wrote this book for lots of kids who feel alone and feel that they have to solve their problems by themselves, because the book Hands helps show that using hands doesn't mean you're strong. And external strength and being muscley, that doesn't mean you're strong. There are lots of ways to show strength.”

(14:32)  "It was fuel that has driven me through the years and drives me today to write books, to show young people that in these moments where you are angry or you are confused, there is a way that you could use your hands and you can use your mind to reroute and to make things right."

(17:04) "So this book really is about revealing that each of us hold a tremendous amount of power in our hands and that we have a firmer grasp on things than we think. And how can we identify those areas where we have a little grasp so that we can make it a stronger grip in a positive way."



  1. Who did Mr. Maldonado say he had in mind as he wrote Hands? I’ll give you a hint: remember the lyrics of that Michael Jackson song?
  2. Torrey Maldonado wanted to be like a certain heavyweight champion when he was a kid, but he remembers having a different reaction when he looked through the magazine that his mom brought home with a cover photo of this boxer. What were some of the things that connected with Mr. Maldonado when he looked at this magazine? And how did they make him feel?
  3. It what ways shared by Mr. Maldonado are his mom and Star Wars’ Yoda similar? Do you have any Yodas in your life?


This podcast episode of The Children’s Book Podcast was written, edited, and produced by Matthew Winner. For a full transcript of this episode, visit

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Our music is by Podington Bear.

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