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Tight
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Tight: Lately Bryan's been feeling it in all kinds of ways . . .Bryan knows what's tight for him—reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama. But drama is every day where...
Tight: Lately Bryan's been feeling it in all kinds of ways . . .Bryan knows what's tight for him—reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama. But drama is every day where...
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Description-

  • Tight: Lately Bryan's been feeling it in all kinds of ways . . .
    Bryan knows what's tight for him—reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama. But drama is every day where he's from, and that gets him tight, wound up.
    And now Bryan's friend Mike pressures him with ideas of fun that are crazy risky. At first, it's a rush following Mike, hopping turnstiles, subway surfing, and getting into all kinds of trouble. But Bryan never really feels right acting so wrong, and drama really isn't him. So which way will he go, especially when his dad tells him it's better to be hard and feared than liked?
    But if there's one thing Bryan's gotten from his comic heroes, it's that he has power—to stand up for what he feels . . .
    Torrey Maldonado delivers a fast-paced, insightful, dynamic story capturing urban community life. Readers will connect with Bryan's journey as he navigates a tough world with a heartfelt desire for a different life.
 

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Excerpts-

  • From the cover Chapter 1

    I'm chilling at the community center where Ma works. She's cool with her boss and coworkers, so they're cool with me and my sister, Ava, being at Ma's job after school.
    Usually, Ava chills for minutes. Me? Hours. I don't know why Ava doesn't hang longer. Maybe she's too busy with her ninth-grade life. But me? I like doing office things, like Ma: reading, being quiet, and chilling for forever. For example, about a month back, I found this empty spot at Ma's job and asked her if I could use it as my pretend-office. She asked her boss and she told Ma, "Sure. We also have a spare desk-chair and some other supplies Bryan can use."
    So, right now, I'm doing homework in my office, but this kid named Mike is at Ma's desk and I'm distracted spying on him.
    He's a year older than me and about two inches taller. He rocks a sweater like mine, but his kicks are newer and more popular. He has hair like me, Afro-type if we grew it out. Mine's grown out a little since I need a cut. He just got one.
    Now he's alone, but I've seen him with his mom here, two or three times.
    I didn't think twice about Mike at first because a lot of kids and their parents come through here. Then I saw him at my school, hanging with seventh graders. He didn't do his sixth grade in my school. So, why'd he transfer for his seventh grade? I asked Ma, and she said his family was in the Bronx and she helped them get an apartment here in Brooklyn in our projects.
    In school, me and Mike nod what's up but don't hang. I see him around the neighborhood too and at the handball courts near us. Then the other day I saw him talking to my pops. I didn't get why Pa was so friendly to him. And I don't get why Mike is here now, talking to Ma.
    I squint at them.
    "Did Mike just call Ma 'Ma'?" I ask Ava, who is in my office looking at my homework on my clipboard.
    Ava stares from the clipboard at him and shrugs. "Who cares? Almost anyone younger than her calls her Ma."
    That's true. Ma helps lots of people and they love her. But I don't like this kid Mike calling her Ma right now.
    I ask Ava, "Why's he playing her so close?"
    Ava goes back to reading the clipboard, but I can't look away.
    Mike stares at Ma like she's his mom for real and gives her a hug.
    Yo! He better let go of my moms.
    Ava interrupts me and points at different spots on my clipboard. "You spelled some stuff wrong."
    "What? Where?" Nothing should be wrong because I checked it twice like Ma says to do. I look where she points.
    Ugh! She's right. I hate when she's right.
    I grab a pencil, take the clipboard, and fix my mistakes.
    By the time I look up again, Mike's about to leave. He yells, "Bye, Ma!"
    I turn to Ava. "He just called her Ma again!"
    She rolls her eyes. "Because he's probably her real son. Unlike you."
    Here she goes again, cracking that stupid joke she's been cracking since I was in day care, telling me Ma and Pa found me in a trash can.
    Back then, I believed her since me and Ava have different complexions. Hers is chocolate brown. I'm a lighter caramel.
    The first time she said it, I ran to Ma and she showed me our birth certificates. Ava got punished but she never stopped joking I wasn't her brother—like right now—and for some reason it still bothers me.
    "Well, I wish Mike was my real brother," she continues. "He's no momma's boy like you."
    My whole head burns like I have a fever. I want to cut on her so hard. But only weak disses come to mind. I finally growl, "Big Head."
    "Oooh, Big Head. Ouch....

About the Author-

  • TORREY MALDONADO also wrote Secret Saturdays. He is a teacher born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he still lives. His novels are inspired by his life and the experiences of his students.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 5, 2018
    Set in Brooklyn public housing, this novel by Maldonado (Secret Saturdays) centers on Bryan, a Puerto Rican sixth grader grappling with a volatile home life, a friend he can’t trust, his conscience, and his identity. Since leaving jail, Pa hasn’t done much except “hanging in the streets with his homeboys,” but he “still spends zero time” with Bryan and his sister. His level-headed, loving mother has always counseled her son to focus on school rather than friends, since the “wrong friends bring drama,” which proves true when Bryan meets Mike, an edgy, older schoolmate who shares Bryan’s love of reading superhero comics and drawing. Wary of Mike’s mood swings and manipulative behavior yet fearful of being labeled “soft,” Bryan follows Mike’s lead—skipping school and riding the subway by hanging out the back car—while feeling “far away from who I am.” The author shrewdly builds suspense, fueling readers’ dread that Bryan’s poor choices will have dire consequences, but lands Bryan in a satisfying place. This is a psychologically intricate story of the challenges and rewards of family, friendship, and discerning one’s true self. Ages 10–up.

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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