Praise for The Garcia Boy
“Rafael Torch’s The Garcia Boy is an incandescent work of literature illuminating family divides, all the obstacles facing immigrants, and the quest for a sense of self and purpose. Torch is valiantly forthright, profoundly caring, razor-sharp, and poetic. The Garcia Boy belongs in every school and public library collection, and this live-wire memoir is a terrific choice for young adult and adult book clubs, and it is especially well-suited to book clubs which bring together teens and adults.”
— Donna Seaman, The Booklist Reader
“A hidden literary gem... I'm just struck by the elegance and beauty of his prose. ... There's this brazen honesty, as well, which is so typical of all good writers. ... Everyone should read it.”
— Steve Sanders, Anchor, WGN Midday News
Praise for How Long Will I Cry? Voices of Youth Violence
“Outstanding. ... An incredibly rich and compelling examination.”
— Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune
“A very powerful book about the realities of crime on the streets of Chicago. ... [The stories] went a whole lot deeper than the headlines and what we were able to do on the news.”
— Darlene Hill, Fox 32 TV Chicago
“A stunning, stay-with-you-forever new book [that will] alter the ways in which you think. I guarantee that after you read this book, the next murder that screams across the headlines and television news will affect you more deeply than ever before. … How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence now joins my Best Books I’ve Ever Read List.”
— Rick Kogan, noted journalist, author and WGN radio personality
"Transforms the shattering statistics of youth violence into intimately human experiences. … This is a book everyone should read."
— Donna Seaman, Booklist Online
“A stunning array of stories. The book exudes raw honesty. … It doesn't deliver easy answers, but it humanizes rage and violence. … This is where hope starts.”
— Robert Koehler, syndicated columnist
“How Long Will I Cry? is a huge success for Big Shoulders Books.”
— Aimee Levitt, Chicago Reader Online
“Standing out among the buzz of new fall books … is one very significant project: How Long Will I Cry?”
— Naomi Huffman, New City
“Requests have been coming in from all over the country from inner-city after-school programs, libraries, high schools and even police departments.”
— Paul Biasco, DNAinfo Chicago
“A new type of publishing."
— Caitlin Tyler Richards and Troy Reeves, Oral History Review
"Your entry point into lives twisted by-and yes-transformed by violence. ... Eye-opening, unsettling, and perhaps galvanizing to action."
— Sally Parsons, Windy City Times
Praise for I Remember: Chicago Veterans of War
"The uniqueness of I Remember is that one or more sentences often tell a story of their own...It will be of benefit of anyone looking to understand the experience of war. This is a worthwhile work of wartime literature that will long be remembered."
— Joseph Reitz, Books in Review II, The VVA Veteran Magazine
"Your entry point into lives twisted by-and yes-transformed by violence. ... Eye-opening, unsettling, and perhaps galvanizing to action.. I Remember: Chicago Veterans of War is a moving collection that simultaneously mourns the horrors of war and celebrates the indomitable spirit in each and every one of those voices"
— Amy Danzer, New City
"This beautiful book is written on the simplest of premises: "I remember." Here are Chicago's bravest, remembering all that war can be. Theirs are memories that sear and soar and won't be easily forgotten--not by them, of course, not ever, and not by the rest of us eaither, as we become their witnesses."
— David Finkle, author of The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service
"The book offers some rare insights and observations from veterans--many of whom are reluctant to open up about their time in combat."
— Eddie Arruza, Chicago Tonight, WTTW
Praise for Write Your Heart Out
"There is honesty peppering these pages, or at least a sincere striving toward it. There is some joy and some pain, humor and heartache. And there is considerable hope too, embodied in thoughts and feelings expressed in more than 140- or 280- character length, without selfies or emojis."
— Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune