Find­ing the Worm

  • Review
By – June 21, 2016

Sequel to last year’s Twerp, Find­ing the Worm explores the 1960s New York area world of pro­tag­o­nist Julian Twer­s­ki even more deeply as he con­tin­ues to mature. His bar mitz­vah is final­ly approach­ing and Julian, with the help of his some­what cryp­tic rab­bi, strug­gles with some exis­ten­tial ques­tions, thrown into even high­er relief as one of his clos­est friends has a brain tumor and Julian must con­front, for the first time, imme­di­ate issues of life and death. This Julian does with great seri­ous­ness even as he nav­i­gates the dai­ly life a twelve-year-old boy. Mean­while school goes on with its some­times unfair accu­sa­tions and its dai­ly tribu­la­tions and so do inter­ac­tions with fam­i­ly mem­bers and with friends, both male and female, which can be both reward­ing and con­fus­ing. This com­ing-of-age sto­ry rings true with poignan­cy and just the right mix of emo­tion and humor; it is nev­er cloy­ing or over­ly dra­mat­ic although there’s plen­ty of dra­ma. Well-drawn char­ac­ters and a touch of old-time New York mix with uni­ver­sal val­ues and will res­onate with read­ers of today. 

High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for read­ers ages 9 – 13.

Relat­ed Content:

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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