by Mark Goldblatt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mark Goldblatt could very well still be a sixth grader at heart! Twerp is the perfect book to engage pre-teens, tweens, and even grandparents with its delightful cast of characters who are as real as real can get! Young Julian Twerski is a boy growing up in New York in the late 1960’s, when it was still okay to play all day, hanging with your buddies, and just being a kid, following the crowd, having fun! But what happens when you follow the crowd and you become part of something so terrible that you won’t even talk about it, even though it cost you a one week suspension from school? If you are fortunate enough to have a teacher like Julian did, you end up having to keep a journal of your day to day activities until you finally get to the heart of the assignment and must face the full reality of what you did. You must admit you were part of a group of bullies who were brutally cruel to a defenseless, mentally impaired young boy.
Twerp is written through the eyes and mind of Julian, no filters, just a boy’s view of the day to day life in the neighborhood. There are laugh out loud moments, gasping moments and moments that make you proud of Julian for his frank honesty. I actually re-read parts to my husband, they were THAT good! His journal entries are true gems, innocence and daring intermixed equally, as he details his day to day life, until he knows he can no longer avoid writing about ‘the incident.’
I honestly cannot think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from the pure entertainment and joy of reading this book, just the walk down memory lane, revisiting the adventures and pains of youth are a trip well worth taking, the lesson learned, priceless.
An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and Random House Children's in exchange for my honest review. Publication Date: May 28, 2013
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