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DARIUS & TWIG by Walter Dean Myers Kirkus Star

DARIUS & TWIG

By Walter Dean Myers

Age Range: 13 - 18

Pub Date: April 23rd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-172823-5
Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

A beautifully written story of friendship and the strength required to rise above limiting circumstances.

Darius is a writer. Twig is a runner. Best friends since they were 9, the two 16-year-olds struggle with growing up in Harlem and, even more so, with making a better future for themselves. Through Darius’ poignant first-person narration, readers will sympathize with his feelings of hopelessness and being trapped in a life he doesn’t want, though Twig’s success on the track gives him faith that he might one day succeed as a writer. Darius also finds solace imagining himself as a falcon named Fury, soaring far above all of the problems that plague him. But the challenges Darius faces are constant and threaten to pull him back to earth—from bullies to his depressed mother and absent father to his own feelings of being overwhelmed, especially as the consequences of his past choices threaten his future. Darius and Twig’s conversations are both lyrically poetic and endearingly heartfelt as they fight to forge a brighter future than the limited options they see before them. Set in opposition to the bullies who make their lives difficult, Darius and Twig exemplify true friendship—two people who have been fortunate enough to find each other, who encourage one another and push each other to do their best—and the life-altering difference having a true friend can make.

Myers at his impassioned best. (Fiction. 13 & up)