Sunday, April 14, 2013

Twerp, by Mark Goldblatt

Julian Twerski has gotten the unfortunate nickname of Twerp.  And he has gotten himself into a heap of trouble.  As an attempt to right the wrongs he has committed, Julian is working with one of his teachers, writing down stories from his life, trying to make sense of his own behavior.  Through his writing, Julian reveals what a truly complex young man he is.

I really enjoyed this book, and found it to be a very touching read.  Julian, as a character, is revealed to us through a series of essays he writes about his own life, all the while hinting at some trouble he has gotten himself into.  One the one hand, we have all the bravado typical of a preteen boy, but on the other hand, we see a sweet, sensitive side to Julian, and watch him grow into his own wisdom.  I really loved Julian as a character, I felt his voice was really genuine.  He goes from worrying about being the fastest runner in school to pondering the nature of his friendships.  It felt so familiar to the struggles I went through at that age, struggles we all went through.  I felt like middle grades readers would really relate to the book.

I loved the way the book was written.  It flowed nicely for an adult to read, but was also nicely chunked into sections for younger readers to tackle.  The writing is really timeless, as well.  There is a passing reference to the book taking place in the late 60's, but it could have been just as easily taking place today, and I think that timelessness will really resonate with readers.

In short, this was a great book, and has a great message for young adult and middle grades readers.

I received a review copy courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.




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