Live via Zoom:
Thursday, July 9, 2:00 PM
Torrey Maldonado presents What Lane?
Greenlight Bookstore is thrilled to welcome the critically acclaimed author of Tight, Torrey Maldonado, for a virtual presentation of his new middle grade novel, What Lane? This coming-of-age story set in Brooklyn, NY follows Stephen, a mixed-race sixth grade boy who's tired of hearing "stay in your lane" and being told where he belongs. In this insightful novel, Maldonado skillfully tackles topics including racism, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement for middle graders with authenticity and sensitivity. Day by day, Stephen notices more and more that he's treated differently than his white friends—from microaggressions to obvious racism. What Lane? is a journey for readers of self-discovery and learning what honest, accountable friendships look like. Maldonado includes real-life headlines in this story that help Stephen in his journey to building a strong, positive racial identity as well as aligning himself with better allies.
Greenlight invites kids, classrooms, and families to join Maldonado for a reading, discussion, and moderated Q+A about his inspiration and process, along with the themes and realities represented in his powerful new book.
Use coupon code WHATLANE to take 15% of your purchase of the book before July 16!
* “In an NYC landscape deeply shaped by race, sixth grader Stephen struggles to speak his piece. . . . Maldonado pursues a story about biracial boyhood, healthy friendships, and self-discovery while gesturing toward the influence of social movements like Black Lives Matter in reshaping what accountable friendship looks like. Voiced in the creative language of NYC youth, the novel models what it means to embrace the power of self-awareness and relationships built on mutual respect. Bridges everyday racism and accountable allyship with sincerity.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “Engaging, timely novel. . . . Maldonado (Tight) paints a vivid, relatable picture of an adventurous boy learning the rewards and dangers of straying out of his lane against the backdrop of an unfair system that could see him killed or arrested for the behaviors his white peers easily engage in. The characters are warmly realistic, by turns impulsive and regretful. In relatively few words, Maldonado elucidates matters related to racial profiling, police violence against black people, and allyship, all through the eyes of a brave kid trying to figure out who he is and where he belongs.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* “Maldonado depicts his young hero’s awakening to the ugly realities of contemporary American racism. Caught between his best friend Dan, and Dan’s racist cousin Chad; straddling the line between his overprotective, naive white mother and his realist, all-too-aware Black father; and doing his best to integrate his middle school friend group, biracial Stephen is finding it tricky to ‘stay wide in all lanes.’ . . . Maldonado uses a biracial adolescent boy’s perspective to draw his readers into an engaging story of identity and tough choices that will appeal to middle schoolers everywhere. An ideal choice for school book clubs and advisory.”—School Library Journal, starred review