Darius & Twig

Walter Dean Myers. HarperCollins/Amistad, $17.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-172823-5
Printz winner Myers (Monster) delivers another excellent character-driven novel, this time focusing on the strength and encouragement that come from a trusted friendship. Harlem teenager Darius, a writer, wants to get out of his neighborhood and make it to college, but his grades aren't good enough. He's hoping that if he can get a story published, he might nab a college scholarship. His best friend Twig is a track star, and sees athletics as his escape. Both are skeptical of the hype they are fed about how hard work pays off, and they face obstacles ranging from school bullies and unsupportive parents to indifferent educators and classmates who don't want others "to get away from the crappy little universes they had created for themselves." Myers homes in on the intimacy between Twig and Darius and their struggles at writing and racing, without letting the oppressiveness of their neighborhood or their home lives either fade to the background or into cliché. Ages 13 – up. Agent: Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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