by Mark Goldblatt
Random House, 2013. 274 pgs. Young Adult
When Julian Twerski (aka "Twerp") returns to school after a week-long suspension his English teacher gives him an interesting proposal: write a report about Shakespeare, or, a journal about the incident for which he and his friends were suspended. Twerp is such a likeable young narrator, and he and his friends are so funny in the way of goofball tween boys, that the reader begins to think, like Twerp, that he didn't really mean to do anything wrong, that things just got out of hand, etc. But when the act of bullying is finally revealed, it is devastating. Please, please don't do that, you think. But the boys don't stop. There is some redemption at the end of this sorrowful, funny story. And what a great cautionary tale for young people who may not yet know how quickly things can go terribly wrong.