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DARIUS & TWIG

Author: Walter Dean Myers

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Publisher: Amistad, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2013

Material: hard cover

Summary: The one thing Darius and Twig can count on is each other. Growing up in Harlem isn't easy when you're trying to steer clear of bullies and gangs and anyone else who seems bent on crushing their dreams. Twig is a middle distance runner catching the eye of coaches and agents. Running is his ticket out, but there's a smarmy side to racing that leaves him worried. Darius is a writer who is *this close* to getting published. He has hopes, but big doubts, too. Together - as they always are - they are invincible. High school is almost finished, and their dreams lie ahead ... what's next for their friendship? This is a young adult novel about two boys with different dreams, but a strong friendship.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, high interest / low readability

Recommended Age: read together: 12 and Up; 10 and Up

Interest Level: 12 to 15

Reading Level: 4.6

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: At first I wasn't sure about Darius & Twig (another bully story?). By the third chapter, I was all in. I love the friendship that Darius and Twig have. It is innocent, honest, and still realistic to their ages. Given their environments the boys have (and share) wisdom that seems wise beyond their years. The story artfully weaves together their passions for running and writing, but allows Darius and Twig to have their own spaces, too.

Pros: Darius & Twig is a pick-me-up story that will resonate with teens. Exceptional writing and spot-on characters will have even the most dormant reader wanting to hang out on the stoop a little longer.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book I will share and recommend to high school juniors and seniors - and their friends.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ONE CRAZY SUMMER   EGGPLANT ALLEY   BURN

Educational Themes: Darius & Twig is an exceptional choice for a classroom or book club read. There are lots of themes to explore, including family relationships, dealing with alcoholism or abuse, and big time sports, as well as "what would you do" situations [dealing with Twig's uncle, sports agents and coaches, put-downs from teachers, et al.]

Notes: The Reading Tub® picked up this book at Book Expo America. There are no expectations of review associated with this book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - friendship, family , coming of age, Young Adult

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2016

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.




                 

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