Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: Twerp by Mark Goldblatt


A good book about a bad deed. Think Wonder meets Stand by Me in this warm and accessible literary middle-grade novel. Perfect for fans of Jerry Spinelli, Jennifer L. Holm, and Rebecca Stead.
     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 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 powerful writing that will have readers laughing and crying right along with these flawed but unforgettable characters.

Based on the blurb, I really thought that I would enjoy this book.

In Twerp, we get to read about different stories from Julian Twerski's life. The stories are part of a book that he's writing in order to get out of writing about Shakespeare.

For some strange reason, I found this book quite boring. There were parts that I enjoyed, of course, but there were also parts which I would skim or skip over. Perhaps it was because the stories didn't all flow into one continuous story or maybe it was because I found the female love interest to be self-absorbed and slightly nuts. I guess I'm not really the target audience for this book.

The parts that I liked in this book were those that were about Julian and his friends. When the focus is on their group and not just on Julian or the love interest, that's when this book really shines. If books about the antics of young boys are your thing, you might enjoy this.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House BFYR for the e-ARC. Publication date of Twerp is on May 28, 2013.


  1. The interaction between Julian and his friends feel genuine.
  2. There are some funny stories here.
  3. Julian sounds like your typical teenage boy.


  1. There are parts which may be boring to some readers.

Right then, Mr. Rifkin walked over with a big plate of hamburgers and hot dogs.

  1. You like buddy movies.
  2. You are looking for a book narrated by a male protagonist.
  3. You like reading about the adventures of young boys.




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