Author Profile

Maria E. Andreu

Maria E. Andreu

Maria E. Andreu is a writer and speaker whose work has appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post,, and the Newark Star Ledger. Her debut young adult novel, The Secret Side of Empty is a Junior Library Guild Selection, a National Indie Excellence Book Award winner, an International Latino Book Awards Finalist and has been called “captivating” by School Library Journal.

Maria’s involvement in the immigration rights movement stems from her own childhood and adolescence experiences with being undocumented in the United States.  She obtained her U.S. citizenship thanks to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Maria currently lives in New Jersey with her two children. She speaks on the subject of immigration and its effect on individuals, especially children. When not writing or speaking, you can find her babying her iris garden and reading post-apocalyptic fiction. 

For more about Maria and her works, go to

Reviews of The Secret Side of Empty

With immigration reform a hot button issue across the country, this book couldn't be timelier. Written with compassion and raw emotions of one who has lived in the shadows herself, Andreu's debut offering is a winner.
-- Booklist,

M.T., like many undocumented youth, is resilient and determined to rise above her circumstances to make a life in the only country she has even known as home. Andreu has crafted an empathetic yet gritty narrative; readers will ache for M.T. as they are let into her secret life.
-- Kirkus Reviews,

... A captivating look at the life of one young immigrant and the challenges so many like her face. Andreu deftly captures the protagonist's desires, despair, and determination in this peek at a side of American life not often seen in YA literature.
-- School Library Journal,

Videos featuring Maria E. Andreu

Maria Andreu Interview, NY1