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Finding The Worm (Twerp Sequel)

The New York Post praised Twerp as “reminiscent of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Finding the Worm is a sequel that stands on its own—an unforgettable coming-of-age story about life, loss, and friendship. Perfect for fans of The Sandlot and readers who love books by Jennifer L. Holm, Andrew Clements, and Rebecca Stead. It’s not a test unless you can fail! Trouble always seems to find thirteen-year-old Julian Twerski. He’s being framed for something he didn’t do, has insulted the girl he likes, and is trying to help a friend with cancer. He has some tough choices ahead, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. But fair or not, the real question is: Will Julian be able to fix things?   Praise for Finding the Worm:   “Movingly depicts a steadfast friendship. . . . Outstanding.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred   “Mark Goldblatt writes with humor and heart—his words stick with you like a best friend.” —Chris Grabenstein, New York Times bestselling author   “Difficult questions about life and death are explored, offering no easy answers. Fans of Twerp will delight in this new tale of friendship with a touch of baseball.” —Booklist   “An excellent companion to Twerp, this novel also stands alone.” —School Library Journal

Lexile Measure: 0740 (What's this?)

Paperback: 368 pages

Publisher: Yearling; Dgs edition (February 9, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0385391110

ISBN-13: 978-0385391115

Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches

Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #141,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #58 in Books > Children's Books > Holidays & Celebrations > Religious #125 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Difficult Discussions > Illness #190 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Health > Diseases

Age Range: 9 - 12 years

Grade Level: 4 - 7

In Finding the Worm, Mark Goldblatt revisits Julian “Twerp” Twerski and his friends and this outing is just as charming and thought-provoking as its predecessor, Twerp. This newest release is also a lot more poignant as thirteen year old Julian and his pals learn one of life’s harshest lessons when one of their friends is diagnosed with cancer.Just before Christmas of 1969, Julian and his friends, Lonnie, Eric, Howie, Shlomo and Beverly are called to the guidance counselor’s office where they are learn that their close friend, Quentin, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. The group is shaken by the news and although they are reassured that he will be fine, the kids are still worried. Julian takes his concerns to Rabbi Salzberg (whom they have nicknamed Magoo) who then uses Julian’s bar mitzvah preparation to give him a few life lessons in addition to his haftarah instruction.While Julian is trying to make sense of Quentin’s illness, the school principal accuses him of defacing a painting. Since he was suspended from school the previous year, Julian’s punishment is to write a 200 word essay on good citizenship. His pleas of innocence fall on deaf ears, and Julian is soon locked in a battle of wills with the principal as week after week, he turns in essays that are about everything except good citizenship. Since he refuses to take the punishment seriously, the principal ups the ante and Julian knows he is beat, but it is not until Julian discovers the perpetrator’s identity that he turns in an incredibly insightful essay that shows remarkable maturity.Despite their worries and Quentin’s fragile health, Julian and the gang find plenty of time to enjoy being kids.

Julian Twerski figures something has gone horribly wrong when the entire 34th avenue gang --- Lonni, Eric, Beverly, Howard, Shlomo and himself --- are called down to the school counselor’s office in the middle of morning. Miss Medina informs them that their friend Quentin --- who has been in and out of the hospital for the past month --- has a cancerous brain tumor and that they need to support him during this difficult time. This wasn’t exactly the news Julian wanted to hear. He has his bar mitzvah in the next couple of months, is in the fast track at school and just wants Quentin to be fine so things can remain as normal as possible.Except, what is “normal” anyway? Would normal be Julian being accused of defacing artwork and being forced to accept blame and write the principal an essay as punishment? Would normal be the girl you kind of like constantly asking to race against you in front of all your friends? If there is one thing Julian does know, however, normal certainly wouldn’t be his friend Quentin possibly dying from a brain tumor. Julian is convinced Quentin will pull through despite the fact that his new “normal” is fraught with uncertainty.What unfolds is coming-of-age story from author Mark Goldblatt, the author of TWERP, inspired by his own childhood. Julian constantly finds himself in situations where he needs to appease other people to keep his life on track, such as in the aforementioned ruined painting scenario and Beverly’s constant desire to race him. Will Julian ever make the principal happy and manage to stay ahead in school? Should Julian actually run like normal and show how much faster he is than her, or should he just let her win?Most importantly, what should Julian do about Quentin?

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