Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TWERP by Mark Goldblatt

A Quintessence of Dust.

TWERP is a coming-of-age story set in 1969, Queens, New York. Julian is a good kid, mixed up with the wrong company. Most of the time, peer pressure and wanting to belong got the worst of Julian and lands him into trouble. The biggest trouble wasn't revealed until the end of the story. But throughout the book, there are hints for Julian’s week-long suspension. His English teacher assigned him to write a journal involving all of his activities for the semester to get out of reading Julius Caesar, so he thinks this is a pretty good deal. His entries were fun and revealing, but he tried very hard skipping that incident with Danley.

That’s what it means to be a man. You do what you think is right, regardless of who it hurts, and whether it works out, because in the end you have to live with yourself.

It took him quite a while, writing things down, he made some huge realization. Some, he made peace with himself; mostly, he started making changes. Belonging and finding one’s place is important, but Julian also realized that deciding to stand up for what is right is important too. He decided that anything he does in 1969 is but a speck of dust in the future, but doing what is right will always make a difference.

But here’s the weird part. Knowing the truth frees you up. Or at least it frees you up if you accept it. Knowing that, in a thousand years, nothing you’re doing or not doing will matter frees you up to do what your heart tells you to do.

Twerp is all about bullying. Not just about bullying the weakest kid by some neighborhood or school kids, but being bullied by your own friends into doing something wrong. Standing up and saying no to a dare is a choice kids at any age should always keep in mind. But don’t think for one second that this is a heavy book. Between Julian’s misadventures with his ragtag group of boys, sports ambition, and initiation with a girl, there are plenty of things to enjoy in this story.

Book details:
Title:  Twerp
Author:  Mark Goldblatt
Publication:  May 28th, 2013, Random House Books for Young Readers 
Genre:  Fiction, YA (9-12)
Rating:  ★★★★


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