Monday, December 2, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Twerp and PiBoIdMo 2013 Winner

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a great weekend! Two items on the agenda today. 

First - I'm a winner!  Yeah!  Once the Cybil reading is done, I desperately need to get back to writing more.  And I have a whole notebook full of ideas to work with.



Secondly - Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

TWERP
by Mark Goldblatt
Random House Books for Young Readers 2013

From Goodreads:
It's not like I meant for him 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.


I really enjoyed this book, but I think the name almost gives it a disservice. I honestly thought it would be filled with dumb boy pranks and silly vocabulary, but I was totally mistaken. Twerp is the sometimes nickname of the mc - Julian Twerski. As he writes down his thoughts on his sixth grade year, he begins to fully understand what he "did" to earn the week-long suspension and how to finally come to terms with how to become a better person because of it. I also appreciated that Julian was in gifted classes, but was still portrayed as a normal kid - he's athletic, has a good group of friends and a normal family. So often smart kids are shown as nerds or geeks. Breaking the stereotype is refreshing. A great book and one definitely for boys, although girls might enjoy it too.


So that's it for this week.  Have a good one!