Review: Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

From the back cover

Sometimes when you brace yourself  for a storm, you get a gentle breeze. The storm only comes when you’re  braced for nothing whatsoever

I don’t usually review children’s books, but when  I read the premise of Twerp I decided to break the rules.

The story is told from the perspective of Julian Twerski,  a twelve-year-old boy living in New York in 1969. After an undisclosed  incident involving another boy named Danley Dimmel, Julian is suspended  from school and asked by his English teacher to write about the events  leading up to this incident. What follows is a humorous, honest and  touching account of a sixth grade boy trying to get to grips with that  awkward space between childhood and adulthood.

I absolutely loved reading Twerp. I am a thirty something mother who grew up in South  Africa, but when I read Twerp I was a twelve year old from Queens in the 60’s. Julian’s  voice seemed so authentic I had to remind myself it was written by a New York Times columnist in his fifties.

The thing I probably liked most about this book is  all the positive messages it sends to the kids who will read it. It  teaches tolerance and has very strong anti-bullying messages without  being preachy. The characters are flawed; they make mistakes, but in  the end they own up to these mistakes and accept the consequences of  their actions. A lot of adults could learn from this book.

Twerp covers an array of pre-teen experiences and emotions.  From first love to first betrayal. But the main emphasis always is on  friendship and loyalty. It is a warm and funny read, bursting with pre-adolescent  mischief but remains innocent at heart. I hope my son will read this  book one day.

Kids will love the antics of the characters so much  they won’t even realize they are being taught valuable moral lessons.   Well done Mark Goldblatt!

Thank you Netgalley  and Random House Children’s for providing me with a copy of this novel  for review. Twerp will be released  on 28th May 2013 and can be purchased via the links below.

Rating ★★★★½

Author Mark Goldblatt
Book series Stand Alone
Genre Contemporary / Middle Grade
Publisher Random House Children's
Published May 2013
Source Netgalley ARC
More Twerp by Mark Goldblatt at Goodreads
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt at Amazon
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt at The Book Depository
1 Comment:
Hannah @ Once Upon A Time says:

This book sounds like a lovely read. I usually avoid middle grade as well but might be worth checking out. :)