Saturday, 1 June 2013
Book Review of Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
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.
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
WOW! Let me first say that this a fantastic younger YA story! I loved it!
Julian Twerski (Twerp to his sister and friends) is a fantastic character! He is a typical 12 (going on 13) year old. He is very thoughtful and bright. Unfortunately, one mistake leads to a school suspension, and a project that really brings this character to life! I liked him very much!
I was a bit unsure about this book when I first started it. It felt more like a memoir than a children's book. However, this book hooked me from the second page! This story follows Julian as he and his friends go about their daily business (school and play). But, he is reluctant to get to the reason as to why he was suspended from school. Given this assignment by his English teacher, Julian reveals his inner-self. His anecdotes are witty and had me smiling and giggling in places. Julian's reason for his reluctance to tell his story of the mistake was understandable. It was a terrible mistake, but a mistake nevertheless. He learnt from it, and that's the most important point. I love stories like this - with morals in them. Without morals, or at least subtle warnings, how are children meant to learn what is right or wrong? Granted, they could find out for themselves, but people (including themselves) may get hurt (either emotionally or physically) in the process. I think that today's society has lost some of these morals, and they need to be re-taught. This book would certainly help with that!
Mark Goldblatt has written an amazing coming of age story that reminded me of my childhood (although I hadn't had the same upbringing, or made the same mistakes). It is a moving story of growing up, peer pressure and bullies. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Julian's journal, and will be on the lookout for more of this author's work in the future.
I highly recommend this book to not only readers in the 8 to 12 age range, but to adults too! - Lynn Worton
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