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Saturday, May 11, 2013
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's not like I meant for Danley to get hurt. . . .
Julian Twerski isn't a bully. He's just made a big mistake. So when he returns to school after a weeklong suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal: if he keeps a journal and writes about the incident that got him and his friends suspended, he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance. And so begins his account of life in sixth grade--blowing up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for his best friend (with disastrous results), and worrying whether he's still the fastest kid in school. Lurking in the background, though, is the one story he can't bring himself to tell, the one story his teacher most wants to hear.
Inspired by Mark Goldblatt's own childhood growing up in 1960s Queens, Twerp shines with powerful writing that will have readers laughing and crying right along with these flawed but unforgettable characters.
Meet Julian Twerski, a middle school boy who lives in New York and attends P.S. 23, a.k.a. Twerp. Twerp was suspended from school due to an incident with a boy named Stanley Stimmel, who is affectionately referred to as Danley Dimmel, that occurred during the winter break. His English teacher has given him the opportunity to write a long report about the incident in lieu of the assigned reports. Julian chooses to write about the incident.
Only he doesn't. Julian takes us into his world and we learn about his friends, his struggles with girls, and how a young man relates to others. It's an interesting journey, but Julian admits that he tells these stories to avoid talking about Danley.
I found the book interesting and grew to like Julian. Which is a good thing because by the end, when we finally learn what happened with Danley, if we didn't already like him we would have been very angry with him.
This would be a great book for preteens, and especially boys. We see boys being boys and we also see consequences for actions. I would definately recommend it!
I did receive a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Labels: Mark Goldblatt