Finding the Wormby Mark Goldblatt
The New York Post praised Twerp as “reminiscent of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Finding the Worm is a sequel that stands on its ownan unforgettable coming-of-age story about life, loss, and friendship. Perfect for fans of The Sandlot and readers who love books by Jennifer L. Holm, Andrew Clements, and/i>/i>/i>/i>/i>
The New York Post praised Twerp as “reminiscent of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Finding the Worm is a sequel that stands on its ownan unforgettable coming-of-age story about life, loss, and friendship. Perfect for fans of The Sandlot and readers who love books by Jennifer L. Holm, Andrew Clements, and Rebecca Stead.
It’s not a test unless you can fail. . . .
Trouble always seems to find thirteen-year-old Julian Twerski. First it was a bullying incident, and now he’s been accused of vandalizing a painting. The principal doesn’t want to suspend him again, so instead, he asks Julian to write a 200-word essay on good citizenship. Julian writes 200 no’s instead, and so begins an epic struggle between Julian and his principal.
Being falsely accused is bad enough, but outside of school, Julian’s dealing with even bigger issues. His friend Quentin has been really sick. How can life be fair when the nicest guy in your group has cancer? Julian’s faith and friendships are put to the test . . . and the stakes have never been higher.
Praise for Twerp:
A Bank Street Best Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Summer Top Ten Kids’ Indie Next List Pick
“Reminiscent of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. . . . You don’t have to be a twerp to read this book.” —New York Post
“A vivid, absorbing story about one boy’s misadventure, heartache, and hope for himself.” —Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal–winning author of When You Reach Me
“[Fans of] Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid who have matured beyond the scope and gravity of that series will find a kindred spirit in Julian.” —School Library Journal
“Reminiscent of movies like The Sandlot. . . . Well-written and funny.” —The Advocate
“Alternately poignant and comical. . . . A thought-provoking exploration of bullying, personal integrity and self-acceptance.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Funny, poignant, and an effective commentary on bullying and its consequences.” —The Horn Book Magazine
Gr 5–8—Julian Twerski and the gang from Twerp (Random, 2013) are now in seventh grade, and it seems like they're dealing with an even bigger set of challenges than last year. When Julian is accused of vandalizing a painting at school, he gets locked into a battle with his new principal that he surely can't win. He begins to develop new feelings for his friend Beverly, to the dismay of Howie, her longtime admirer and Julian's friend. Most upsetting of all, Quentin has cancer. Julian, with the help of his friends, finds himself navigating the year before his bar mitzvah in search of what it means to grow up and be a good citizen. Goldblatt takes advantage of Julian's newfound love of writing, adding an honest and forthright tone to the boy's journal entries. A wide variety of readers will relate to Julian's questions about fairness, faith, and friendship. VERDICT An excellent companion to Twerp, this novel also stands alone.—Amanda Augsburger, Moline Public Library, IL
Goldblatt's sequel to Twerp (2013) chronicles the momentous events of Julian's seventh-grade year. A friend's devastating illness and a false accusation of vandalism upend Julian's life. His friend Quentin's diagnosis of a brain tumor occurs at a pivotal moment, just as he is preparing for his bar mitzvah. Julian seeks guidance from his rabbi about his struggles to comprehend life, heaven and God. Their conversations address the uncertainty and inequity of life's fortunes and misfortunes. Goldblatt movingly depicts the steadfast friendship enjoyed by Julian's group of pals as they support Quentin, deftly painting the small moments. In one, when the ailing Quentin asks to join in on a game of tag, it results in the spontaneous creation of "Piggyback Tag," perfectly capturing the solidarity and joy of true friendships. Interwoven with his anxiety over Quentin's illness is Julian's evolving awareness that his past will always be a part of his present. After being blamed for vandalizing a student's artwork, Julian must write an essay on citizenship for his principal. Although he initially resists, Julian's essay becomes a distillation of his experiences, reflecting his growing understanding of life's complexities. When Julian discovers a seemingly unbearable truth, he must summon the resolve to weather the trials life may deliver. Goldblatt's outstanding tale ponders a timeless, universal dilemma as a remarkable boy seeks to reconcile the heartbreak and uplift that punctuate his life. (Fiction. 11-14)
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Meet the Author
MARK GOLDBLATT is a lot like Julian Twerski, only not as interesting. He’s a widely published columnist, a novelist, and a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Twerp was his first book for younger readers. He lives in New York City. Visit him online at markgoldblattkids.com.
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Quentin is ill, seriously ill, but the all school interruption on the intercom for Quentin's closest friends to hightail it to the counseling office forbodes a far worse possibility. Miss Medina's encouragement of a positive prognosis falls on deaf ears, and Rabbi Salzburg, who bares physical resemblances to Mr. Magoo of cartoon fame, does little to assuage Julian's fears for Quentin and uncertainties about heaven. Rich characterization from Twerp provides depth and familiarity with the colorful cast of characters, yet, with Goldblatt's wit and humor while tackling a serious subject, this sequel easily stands on its own. For young people: You will laugh, celebrate, and even shed a few tears with your favorite characters, who continue to grow up alongside you. Danley makes yet another surprising appearance, giving you pause to reflect on what's really important in life. For teachers: Attention to location details makes this book a perfect choice for combining a Google Lit-Trip with historic research, especially in regard to the Browne house. For adults: While following the storyline of a youth preparing for his bar mitzvah, Finding the Worm unveils the realities of life and the sometimes painful metamorphosis of a boy becoming a man. For all: If you ever have an opportunity to invite or to hear this amazing author in person, do so! You will be glad you did! (More than 500 students and teachers would attest to this). Thank you to Random House Children's for sharing this ARC with me.