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Twerp (Twerp #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  2,467 Ratings  ·  492 Reviews
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 th
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jennifer Massey It is set in Queens, New York in 1969. The book revolves around the 6th grade boys who attend Public School 23, in Queens.
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Newbery 2014
43rd out of 115 books — 458 voters
The School for Good and Evil by Soman ChainaniThe Runaway King by Jennifer A. NielsenRump by Liesl ShurtliffThe Ability by M.M. VaughanThe House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Middle Grade Novels of 2013
113th out of 372 books — 742 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gary Anderson
Apr 10, 2013 Gary Anderson rated it it was amazing
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
Clare Cannon
May 01, 2013 Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 11, 2016 Louize rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dared, 2015

A Quintessence of Dust

TWERP is a coming-of-age story set in 1969, Queens, New York. Julian is a good kid mixed up with the wrong company. Most of the time, peer pressure and wanting to belong got the worst of Julian and lands him into trouble. The biggest trouble wasn't revealed until the end of the story. But throughout the book, there are hints for Julian’s week-long suspension. His English teacher assigned him to write a journal involving all of his activities for the semester to get out of r
Julian is a sixth grader who was suspended for something that the reader does not find out until the end of the book. His English teacher tasks him with writing something reflective when he returns from suspension. He begins a journal about himself and the things going on in his sixth-grade life. We know the incident he’s supposed to be writing about involved Danley, but the details are skipped over and practically forgotten for the majority of the book. Most of Julian’s journal reflects on dari ...more
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
Richie Partington
Jul 16, 2013 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
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"......
Jenny Sawyer
Mar 31, 2013 Jenny Sawyer rated it really liked it
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.

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
Nov 16, 2015 thelastword rated it did not like it
You know when you're a kid and you get bullied and you spend your youth hating that One Kid who you can safely pin every bad incident in your childhood on?

Well when you grow older, and the anger and hurt fades a bit, another kid comes to mind; a kid who stood right beside the Bully Boss and did everything Bully Boss told them to do, but all the while with this 'I don't want to do this but I have to' expression on their face. This kid right here? This is the worst - absolute worst - person you c
Reading is my Escape
Sometimes when you brace yourself for a storm, you get a gentle breeze. The storm only comes when you're braced for nothing whatsoever.
page 16

Knowing that, in a thousand years, nothing you're doing or not doing will matter frees you up to do what your heart tells you to do.
page 189

Julian Twerski (aka Twerp), was involved in some sort of bullying incident and his English teacher has him writing about what happened to help him understand it better. Because, from what we know, Julian is a
Ruchama Feuerman
Jun 10, 2014 Ruchama Feuerman rated it really liked it
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
Alex McGilvery
Apr 27, 2013 Alex McGilvery rated it it was amazing
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
Paul Yoon
Jan 22, 2015 Paul Yoon rated it it was ok
I read this book after seeing it in my school's library, and it was new, and it seemed fine. I liked the beginning of the book, as it chose to open up to an interesting and eventful scene, where the main character has to make a choice to listen to his best friend, or not to. He eventually decides to listen to his friend, and doing so, he throws a small boulder at a flock of birds. The boulder finds its mark, and strikes a pigeon, thus making it unable to fly. The main character is unhappy with h ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Liam rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3rd-term
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
Mar 06, 2014 Diana rated it did not like it
Couldn't get through it. Didn't like tone, or the way that minorities were portrayed.
Kristy Feltenberger
Oct 03, 2015 Kristy Feltenberger rated it liked it
Out of the four VA Readers' Choice books I've read so far (there are ten total) I had the hardest time relating to this one. However, I'm a middle school librarian and students seem to like it, especially boys. Twerp definitely had some shocking events (in the beginning and end especially) but the middle lagged a bit. I cringed at the pigeon incident in the beginning as well as the bulling incident at the end. For whatever reason, I simply didn't connect. However, I absolutely love the cover of ...more
Min Yee
Mar 04, 2016 Min Yee rated it liked it

I've never read about Big Nate before, but based from the synopsis, I felt this book has a similar plot – a story of a sixth grader who shares his adventures and mischievousness with his friends. I'm pretty sure such a story will bring back a lot of childhood memories for some readers, as the story was being written with full of "kiddie stuff" such as a small circle of close friends that does things together all the time, homemade fireworks, love letters,
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
Apr 14, 2013 Cathy Blackler rated it it was amazing

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
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
May 13, 2013 Chantelle rated it it was amazing
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
Alex Baugh
Jun 28, 2013 Alex Baugh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: randomly-reading
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
Apr 04, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
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
Aug 11, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-ya, read-2013
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
Jun 01, 2015 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Mark Goldblatt's Twerp is an engaging coming of age story that is witty and thought-provoking. Although categorized as young adult fiction, this charming novel will resonate with readers of all ages.

Julian Twerski really loathes Shakespeare, so when his sixth grade English teacher Mr. Selkirk offers him to let him keep a journal in lieu of writing a report on Julius Caesar, Julian eagerly agrees. Of course Mr. Selkirk has an ulterior motive: he wants Julian to write about the incident that resu
Sep 01, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
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
Gina (My Precious Blog)

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
May 01, 2013 Melanie rated it it was amazing
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
Suzy Wilson
Jun 25, 2013 Suzy Wilson rated it really liked it
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
Jul 06, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
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
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