Kids/YA Review: TWERP by Mark Goldblatt

Another Net Galley find, TWERP is the story of Julian Twerski: a boy growing up in NYC (Queens) in 1969. Julian’s made a major error in judgment and has gotten suspended for bullying another kid (eventually revealed through the story). When he returns to school, his English teacher suggests that  he keep a diary of his life and events and tell the story of what happened through his own words (and if he does the journal, he gets out of writing a report on Shakespeare!).  Through Julian’s diary we get to know him, his pack of friends, his family, and what life is like for him. He’s a typical sixth grader with a slightly annoying but sometimes helpful older sister. His friends are a garden variety of boys who get into scrapes. He has a crush on a girl in his class (but so does his friend!). He even holds the title of “fastest kid in sixth grade”, but is finding that he might lose that honor this year. All in all, this book made for a great kids’ read: sometimes serious but often funny. I’d happily get it for our school library for our 4th-6th graders. I haven’t read Mr. Goldblatt’s other books (which are for adults) but you can tell he put his heart – and a piece of himself – into Julian’s story.

Thanks, Net Galley and Random House, for my copy!

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