Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Random House Books for Young Readers (May 28, 2013) 288 pages
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Twerp is written in the form of short stories(diary entries) by 12 year old Julian Twerski. His teacher, Mr. Selkirk, made a deal that he could get out of some other assignments if he wrote these stories. It's so easy to imagine Mr. Selkirk sitting behind his desk chuckling away at these things, too! The whole book comes into existence because of some bullying event that Julian was involved in, and an attempt to find out just what did happen.
Twerp mainly consists of the mischief and adventures of a group of young guys. It takes place in the 1960s, so it's in a time when television and electronics weren't so much in the picture. I'm a bit more scared about the fact that I have 3 boys so close together. Lots of mischief potential!! At first, the stories don't seem to overly connect, but they start to pretty quickly. There's hints from the very beginning of the bullying event, but it's not until the last chapter that we have that story. At times, it was too easy to forget the reason for the writing assignment. I was just so caught up in the life of this group of kids!
It reminded me throughout the whole story of the movie, The Sandlot. That's always been one of my favorite movies, so it's no wonder I couldn't seem to stop turning the pages. I read this at record speed for me these days. The last chapter left me in tears, but I still wish that game of "battle" was played! I'm still a little disturbed at just what happened, too. It was pretty impacting!
My biggest complaint is some of the "guy talk" about a certain body part they have. There's an accident where a guy falls on a fence split legged. It refers to the "area" hurt and even mentions that he shouldn't be looking at a girl or something will happen that shouldn't with his "area" in that condition. (Is that vague AND clear enough? If you want more details, I'll be glad to give them to you.) As far as girls go, be prepared to explain if she's somewhat sheltered. If she goes to public school, she's already knows! ;) There's also mention of a mom sunning with her bikini on. Honestly, it depends on how conservative you are whether or not this would bother you. I'm pretty conservative in this area, and want to go to any lengths possible to keep my sons' minds pure. I don't think these things will help them with that goal. That said, you'll easily see much worse on a family channel commercial break! I hope I've explained that well enough. I wouldn't want to recommend a book, and then you be so surprised, you never take my advice again. ;)
Other than the warnings I've given, I HIGHLY recommend Twerp! There's a note from the author at the end that I wish I could quote. Since I read an e-ARC, I can't. It made me smile, though. I'm glad he has been talked into changing his writing ways! I'll be picking up his future books as quickly as I can.
*I was provided an e-ARC through the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.