May 27, 2013

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

Title: Twerp
Author: Mark Goldblatt
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release date: May 28th 2013
Source: Netgalley
Format: egalley

Rating: 4/5

Buy onAmazon | B&N | BookDepository

"A vivid, absorbing story about one boy’s misadventure, heartache, and hope for himself." --Rebecca Stead, Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me

It's not like I meant for Danley to get hurt. . . .

Julian Twerski isn't a bully. He's just made a big mistake. So when he returns to school after a weeklong suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal: if he keeps a journal and writes about the terrible incident that got him and his friends suspended, he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance. And so begins his account of life in sixth grade--blowing up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for his best friend (with disastrous results), and worrying whether he's still the fastest kid in school. Lurking in the background, though, is the one story he can't bring himself to tell, the one story his teacher most wants to hear.

Inspired by Mark Goldblatt's own childhood growing up in 1960s Queens, Twerp shines with humor and heart. This remarkably powerful story will have readers laughing and crying right along with these flawed but unforgettable characters.

This book reminded me of the movie Stand by me in the sense of friendship between boys in this case they´ve 12 years-old, they make many pranks and have adventures, that is until they do something to Danley a boy that is a little slow, something that Julian doesn´t want to talk about it. And this story is set in 1969.

Julian´s english teacher Mr. Selkirk asked him to writte a report about what happen with Danley, but Julian is not ready to talk about it, so he presents a report to his teacher about another event that he considers worse than what happened to Danley, that is so well written that impresses his teacher, so his teacher proposes him to continue writing and he can be excused from writing a report about Shakespeare,  so Julian is more than happy because he hates Shakespeare.

Twerp takes place from January to June in the life of a 12 years-old boy, where he writes about his day and also about his pranks with his friends from the block.

I liked how this book is told as a diary but it also has a dialogue between Julian and his friends, where we see him talking about everything except the case of bullying for which he was suspended. We see a good boy who rarely gets angry, but that is influenced by his best friend Lonnie, who is the mastermind of most of the pranks. I loved how Julian, he´s in sixth grade, he's very good runner and the fastest of the school, feels like a grown up that is not like the babies of fifth grade and he would never think to has a friendship/rivalry with one of fifth grade, that is until he meets Eduardo a fifth grader that is really fast runner and that he could take his title as "the fastest".

Overall, I really liked this book it´s very entertaining, I laughed a lot and the time when Julian finally reveals what really happened with Danley is really sad.

Thanks to Random House Books for Young Readers for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Cool review. I have a young cousin who would be interested in this light read. :)

  2. Like your review. The story is good, but I think it's not my cup of tea.

    Thanks for your review :)

  3. This sounds like a very cute, very emotional and heartwarming story. And it has a very cute cover. I think I would enjoy this one. Thanks for your review!

  4. Not really sure if I want to read this though. Like the others, its not exactly my kind of thing but thanks for the review~!

  5. Cool review. I may have to keep an eye out for this at the library.