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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  812 ratings  ·  281 reviews
"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 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...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Newbery 2014
31st out of 93 books — 341 voters
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114th out of 315 books — 580 voters

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Clare Cannon
May 01, 2013 Clare Cannon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Almost everyone 11+

Julian Twerski's honest, self-deprecating and waggish voice finds its way to your heart before he's uttered as much as a sentence. And by the time he's finished unburdening his conscience of the highs, lows and hilarities of his year, he's right up there on your favourites shelf with Spinelli (Stargirl), Palacio (Wonder) and Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me). This sixth-grader really has a way with words.

We know from the beginning he's writing this journal for his involvement in a bullying inci...more
Gary Anderson
How many times have we witnessed kids picking on one another verbally or physically and, when challenged about it, defending themselves by saying, “It’s a joke,” or “We’re just kidding around”? In Twerp, Mark Goldblatt shows how “just kidding around” can become something much uglier.

Julian Twerski, aka Twerp, makes a deal with his English teacher, Mr. Selkirk: If Julian writes stories about himself and his friends, he can avoid writing a report about Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. So Julian write...more
Richie Partington
Richie's Picks: TWERP by Mark Goldblatt, Random House, May 28, 288p., ISBN: 978-0-375-97142-6

1 "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In".......................The Fifth Dimension
2 "Sugar, Sugar".................................................The Archies
3 "Honky Tonk Women".....................................The Rolling Stones
4 "Get Back".......................................................The Beatles
5 "Crimson and Clover".....................................Tommy James and the Shondells
6 "Dizzy".........more
Jenny Sawyer
In this coming-of-age story set in 1960s Queens, 12-year-old Julian isn't a bad kid, but he is a follower. And though sometimes being a follower helps him fit in, it also gets him into trouble. What that trouble is, exactly, we don't find out until the end of this book. But throughout the story, there are hints that Julian's week-long suspension resulted from some harebrained scheme by Lonnie, Julian's best friend, and the leader of their neighborhood's crew of tightly-knit sixth grade boys.

A copy of this book was provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Twerp is a book that I never would have read had I not received a Netgalley invitation to download it. But afterwards, I decided to check it out; I enjoy Middle Grade, after all, and it would only take a few hours to read. I can honestly say I don't regret reading it.

Not that I'm going to gush; Twerp wasn't spectacular by any means, and there were certainly a few things that detracted from enjoyment. But it was ultim...more
I received this book from Netgalley. This is a moving story about a twelve-year-old boy, Julian Twerski, growing up in NYC in the late '60's. It's told in the first person through journal entries. I felt like I was reliving that very difficult age as Julian writes about his daily life in his journals. He hangs around with a group of boys, who have the run of the neighborhood. I grew up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood in Boston but it felt the same. We ran wild through the streets, doing things...more
Ruchama Feuerman
When one of my kids said it was the best book she'd read in ages -- maybe ever-- I grabbed it and read it straight through. (It didn't hurt that the main character shares the same last name as my mother-in-law, may she rest in peace -- Twerski.) It's set in the late 1960s and the language he uses reflects the times.

Julian Twerski and his friends (one who bears the nickname Shlomo Shlomo) did something really bad, and as penance, or instead of having to write a report on Julius Caesar, Julian mus...more
The book follows Julian Twerski, a 6th grader in 1969, who finds himself suspended from school. The only good that comes out of it is the fact that his teacher had decided to give him a choice. Do a Shakespeare project, or write a journal about how he had gotten suspended. Julian jumps on the chance to get out of this boring assignment. As the story progresses however, Julian finds himself writing about a lot more then just the incident. He writes about his everyday life, from being the fastest...more
Julian, an athletic sixth grader, has been given an assignment by his English teacher. If he keeps a journal for a while he can avoid doing some of his classwork, something he is happy to do. But he avoids writing about the incident that got him suspended for a week, although he refers to it now and then. It's clear from early on that he doesn't want to take about it. Much of the book focuses on Julian's trials and tribulations relating to friendship, girls, and learning that he may no longer be...more
Cathy Blackler

A powerful coming of age story reminiscent of Sandlot. Set in the 1960s, Julian, AKA Twerp is our narrator and his boyhood confession is revealed in epistolary fashion. Julian's sixth grade English teacher, Mr. Selkirk, offers him the chance to skip the class assignment on Julius Cesar, writing instead about events of the school year; specifically events surrounding the bullying of an older, hearing-impaired boy. With humor, i...more
Bluerose's  Heart
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 o...more
Originally posted on my blog!

Um. WHOA! Reading about a 6th grader should not be this captivating... but seriously, my goodness, I couldn't put this book down!

Twerp is written in the form of a journal, a running narrative of 6th grader Julian Twerski who is forced by his English teacher to write about what happened that day with Danley... Instead, Julian or "Twerp" decides to write an account of his life, his friends, his family, just anything but what happened with Danley. It really should not b...more
Alex Baugh
I kind of dawdled around about reading this book, always putting it on the bottom of the pile, but then one day I realized I just needed to bite the bullet. And I am really glad I did.

After being suspended from school for a week, sixth grader Julian Twerski returns to school in January 1969. His English teacher, Mr. Selkirk, has assigned the class a term paper on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, not something Julian wants to do. So Mr. Selkirk strikes a deal with him - instead of doing the Julius C...more
Middle schooler Julian has done something naughty. So naughty, he was suspended from school. Now he is back in school and has made a deal with his English teacher. If he writes about his experience, he can avoid having to write a report on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Seems like a good deal in the beginning... but Julian really doesn't want to write about what he did to get suspended. So instead, he writes about everything else! He writes about his friends, other bad things he has done, his role...more
These sixth graders, this group who hangs at Ponzini, a vacant lot so named because of an old man who lives near, are interesting. It’s not always easy to know that twelve year old boys think so much, but Mark Goldblatt has shown us a boy named Julian, one who is not perfect, but thoughtful and vulnerable and silly enough in his immaturity that makes you want to cry. I taught middle school students for a lot of years, and when people laughed and asked me why I did it, it was because of students...more
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

Another young adult novel! I’m on a roll over the long, rainy Labor Day weekend here in Chengdu.

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt is the perfect companion novel to yesterday’s Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington. Although they are not the same story, there are some great comparison points, and each reach towards a different middle school audience, while not being exclusive in their readability.

Goldblatt’s book focuses on Julian, a sixth grade boy who is writing as a requiremen...more
Gina (My Precious)

A compelling read about a 12 year old boy who gets suspended from school for an act of cruelty and then is asked by his English teacher to write about it, in lieu of reading Julius Ceasar. Its a fresh read, with a great narrator. Set in the 1960's its a perfect reflection of the times. Boys pal around together in a group, do stupid things and sometimes end up hurt. I was engrossed in reading Julian's story. He's a likeable, redeeming character who knows right from wrong but some...more
This book is written in a journal format. Julian Twerski, or Twerp, is writing it so he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. His teacher, Mr. Selkirk, wants him to write about the incident with Danley Dimmel but he avoids it, writing about everything else instead.

The year is 1969, a simpler time before electronics when kids explored outside and did some crazy things (which does still happen today, just not as often, it seems). He chucks rocks at birds with his best friend, Lonnie, ra...more
Alex McGilvery
Twerp introduces Julian Twerski and one of the most authentic young narrators that I have encountered since Holden Caufield. Julian is assigned the task of keeping a journal after an undescribed ‘incident’. The carrot initially is that he can substitute the journal for reading Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. We are then treated to a insider’s view of the powerful friendship between Julian and Lonnie and the other boys that make up their group.

While Julian is writing this very personal account of hi...more
Suzy Wilson
I received an ARC from Random House, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Twerp introduces us to Julian Twerski, a young Jewish boy, growing up in the US in 1969. Following his return to school after a week-lomg suspension, Julian's teacher assigns him the onerous task of keeping a journal, rather than writing a term paper on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Thus begins a 12 year old boy's account of the next six months of his life., wherein we learn of the trials and joys of pre-teen...more
Typing this review makes me simultaneously smile and tear up, as it was a mixture of humorous (the stories shared in the first few journal entries, aside from the pigeon) and sad (the pigeon and "Danley"). I'll spare you the summary, as you have probably already read several of those. I will paraphrase from the inside cover flap that Julian is a kid who isn't bad but just makes dumb decisions. He's growing up. He sometimes lets the moment and his friends and his emotions interfere with making th...more
There is so much good to say about this book – accounts by
a sixth grader of what is happening in his life – and these are
very cool – memorable! – I mean they will bring back stuff you did
back then – and he goes through a lot and learns so much and changes as well – I wish I had half the self-reflection he has.

The book is a little long to be written by a sixth grader and I wish
that the editors had cut out those parts that make this less universal – less applicable to most of us – I am thinking of...more
Suzanne Lilly
This is an unusual story told in the voice of Julian Twerski, set in the 1960s. Julian is required by his English teacher to write in a journal about an incident that happened over winter break. This incident is referred to, but not disclosed, which builds the tension and keeps the reader interested.

As Julian, AKA Twerp, writes in his journal, he explores emerging feelings about girls, his friendships with the neighborhood boys, and in the end, a bullying incident. As he relates his story throug...more
The first chapter can throw u off a bit not knowing this kid is in gifted classes, but once you understand that wow this book is a great story.It actually speaks out to kids about their decisions even the lil stupid ones and shows them some of the minor yet life altering choice they make. I love the idea behind the book and the author describes it quite well even for an old reader as myself that has been that kid at one point in life it takes me back and makes me think about some of the decision...more
Julian Twerski is a fairly average kid who makes some pretty poor decisions. When a prank on another neighborhood boy goes horribly wrong, Julian and his friends struggle to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Things I loved experiencing while reading this book:

- the reminder that most people are not all good or all bad as we tend to label them
- the good that can happen when a teacher refuses to give up on a student
- watching Julian transform from a follower to a leader
- the incredible...more
Tina Dalton
This coming-of-age book is poignant as well as entertaining. It had me laughing out loud at some points, and wiping away tears at others. I thoroughly enjoyed the first person, journal-type narrative. It's the story of Julian (6th grader) and his friends, growing up in NYC in 1969. Julian is required by his English teacher to keep a journal as a sort of punishment for an incident perpetrated by him and his buddies. The antics that Julian gets into are entertaining, but its more his story of grow...more
This turns out to be a pretty powerful story. MAtt Goldblatt keeps you reading because you're wondering what happened with this kid, Danley. I can't decide whether this is a librarian read or whether kid would really like it...too many references to rock groups, etc. from the 70's. However, I think middle school boys would be able to relate to some of the stupid things these guys decide to do! Lots of levels worthy of good discussion in the story, but I would have bumped the character up to 7th...more
Carol Royce Owen
I was looking back at a list of books about bullying that I had used for a recent unit with 5th and 6th grade students, and realized that I had never added this book to my list of books read. I'm surprised, because I really enjoyed it.

Twerp is the nickname for Julian Twerski, a 6th grade, mostly good kid, who has recently done something bad enough to warrant a week's suspension from school. When he gets back to school he is given an assignment by his English teacher to keep a journal so that he...more
Pop Bop
Classy Middle Grade Cry of Conscience

As this story ambles along it picks up weight and momentum such that the ending, while not shocking, has serious and satisfying impact. Our hero comes to grips with his act of thoughtless cruelty, and all emerge sadder but wiser. If you're going to take a middle grade reader through a dramatic wringer, you should at least wind up with a hopeful and affirmative ending, and that's what you get here. The hero's act of careless bullying is at just the right level...more
This was an entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think kids will very much enjoy and relate to this story. I was at first put off a little by the story line of "boy does something wrong and as restitution has to journal for his teacher about the incident". However, the way Goldblatt delivers the story, the reader almost forgets that the narrator's stories are being written in a composition notebook. All of the stories are engaging and tell a whole beautiful story. The characters are six...more
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Henrico Youth Boo...: Twerp by Mark Goldblatt 6 16 Dec 04, 2013 05:38PM  
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