Source: Won from Armchair BEA
Publisher: Amistad (HarperCollins)
Edition: ARC, 208 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
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New York Times bestselling author and Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers once again connects with teenagers everywhere in Darius & Twig, a novel about friendship and needing to live your own dream.
Darius and Twig are an unlikely pair: Darius is a writer whose only escape is his alter ego, a peregrine falcon named Fury, and Twig is a middle-distance runner striving for athletic success. But they are drawn together in the struggle to overcome the obstacles that Harlem life throws at them.
The two friends must face down bullies, an abusive uncle, and the idea that they’ll be stuck in the same place forever in this touching and raw new teen novel from Walter Dean Myers, award-winning author of Monster, Kick, We Are America, Bad Boy, and many other celebrated literary works for children and teens.
Darius and Twig is a short read that centers around two high school boys who desperately try to hang onto their dreams while dealing with the issues at home and in their neighborhood.
I’ve only read one book by this author and it was Monster, the book listed on the cover of this one. I didn’t necessarily like it…it actually kind of horrified me since I was bit too young for it and so it’s stuck with me. The author has a unique way of telling a story, he puts you inside the main characters head and let’s their voices tell you everything you need to know. You see the excitement, nervousness and frustration up close.
I really liked Darius and Twig. They have dreams and ambitions, and they know that where they are from and what they look like do not define them as people. Twig wants to run track professionally and Darius wants to be a writer, and while others don’t see their potential until it’s success the two of them still keep at it. The have a really strong and amazing friendship and I found it fantastic that they had each others back through thick and thin. Darius helped Twig train and cheered him on and Twig encourages Darius to write, and more importantly they keep each other from falling into the dark thoughts that lurk at the edges of their lives.
The neighborhood they live in is rough and there is so much that the two of them have to deal with; shootings, poverty, bullying, etc. My only issue with this book is the amount of racial generalization by a good handful of the characters. I understand the point of having characters like this, and maybe it really is like this in some places but if you ever want to make me grit my teeth add in some racial generalization or I suppose you could call it stereotyping. It personally brought the book down for me.
Overall I enjoyed it, it has a voice and it certainly speaks of hope. I think the message it holds is wonderful and I’d definitely recommend it for older teens and adults.