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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