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Posted June 10, 2013
This was a really unique, clever and honest look at a sixth grad
This was a really unique, clever and honest look at a sixth grade boy’s life, growing up in Queens: friends, worries, girls and eventually guilt about the bullying he was half-heartedly involved in.
The story feels honest, and with the setting of 1969 the outside ‘distractions’ are far more direct: friends, girls, hating homework, and all of those activities you filled those hours after school with that wouldn’t and didn’t involve television or computers.
While initially started as a way to get out of a dreaded class assignment, the journal quickly spins into a clever diary of life, interests and even concerns and guilt that Julian has. While dealing with the core issue of bullying, the author doesn’t bring in a preachy tone, or even a particularly adult tone: language use and approach is completely appropriate for a 12 year old, and would provide good perspective for children in middle school. The whole story is carefully structured to appear not-so decidedly constructed, with a stream of consciousness style that is easy and enjoyable to read.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review as part of the Children Read week at I am, Indeed. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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Posted May 28, 2013
Twerp is formatted as if it is the journal the main character, J
Twerp is formatted as if it is the journal the main character, Julian, is asked to keep. As soon as I started reading, I wanted to know what the bullying incident involved. What happened? We don't find out for a while, but I liked the placement of those details. It gave me an opportunity to get to know Julian through his own words first, rather than letting a horrible mistake make the initial impression.
Julian has a lot of wisdom for a kid his age. He's tenderhearted and thoughtful. He's intelligent - he goes on these little rabbit trails when he writes, and it's fascinating to read along and see how his mind works.
Twerp shows how easily a "good kid" can get involved in something terrible. It is a coming of age story that works through the process of breaking away from peer pressure, learning to think independently, trusting oneself, and listening to the voice that tell us, "this is the right thing to do."
Thanks to the animated and relevant voice of its main character, Twerp is certain to connect with middle grade readers. Geared for ages 9 and up.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.
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Posted October 14, 2013
Explore Fears, Hopes, & Dreams of a Middle Schooler. Journ
Explore Fears, Hopes, & Dreams of a Middle Schooler.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Journey inside the mind of a middle grader, as he shares his fears, regrets, and hopes through a touching journal exercise.
Just by the passage I shared with you, I think you can tell at least one reason why I enjoyed this read. What makes this book is the voice. Hands down. Julian has a unique tone to his attitudes about his experiences, I couldn't help but like him. He's bright for his age--which he seems embarrassed about--and comprehends the world around him. I loved how honest he was about his view of the world while writing in his journal.
The next element I thought of while reading was how easily middle graders could relate to Julian's position: being a watcher while negative action is taking place in front of him. Then, one of life's big choices presents itself to him: does he join in or walk away? It also gave a vibrancy to the thought we've all had--"Thank God it's not me being picked on."
Setting the story during the 1960s worked, eliminating distractions from all our technological devices of today; it gave the story a direct focus on Julian's issues at hand.
His thoughts in his journal were always addressed to his teacher, which gave an intriguing glimpse at student/teacher relationship. The more he wrote about events during his days the more intimate and in tune with himself he became. It was wonderful watching his maturing process. Of course, there was plenty of the average and expected events that happen to him as a middle grader. Girls, rough-housing with the boys, and other growing pains that make this book interesting.
I'd recommend this book to any MGer who likes older settings and a more personal view inside a character. There's not much fantasy or adventure, so I wouldn't recommend it to those kiddos.