Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
<p>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 one's own dream. This touching and raw teen novel from the author of Monster, Kick, We Are America, Bad Boy, and many other celebrated literary works for children and teens is a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.</p> <p>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 life in Harlem 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.</p> <p>Maria Russo, writing in the New York Times, included Darius & Twig on her list of "great kids' books with diverse characters." She commented: "The late Myers, one of the greats and a champion of diversity in children's books well before the cause got mainstream attention, is at his elegant, heartfelt best in this 2013 novel. It's about two friends growing up in Harlem, one a writer, one an athlete, facing daily challenges and trying to dream of a brighter future."</p>
Includes a Q&A with Walter Dean Myers and an excerpt from All the right stuff.
"Two best friends, a writer and a runner, deal with bullies, family issues, social pressures, and their quest for success coming out of Harlem"-- Provided by publisher.
Coretta Scott King Author Honor book.
ALA Notable Children's Book, Older Readers 2014.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
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 cliche. Ages 13-up. Agent: Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-Darius and Twig both dream of leaving their poor neighborhood for better and safer lives. In a world where the "hoodies" with their drugs, guns, and agendas are slowly taking over, the pair band together to spur each other on to be the best so that they might earn college scholarships and leave the hood. Twig, a prodigy runner, struggles with balancing his love for running with the competitive field that he must enter if he wants to earn a scholarship. Darius, a gifted writer, strives to publish his work in order to gain the attention he needs for college offers. Each teen finds solace in the other's support. When one of the bullies from their school is shot, Darius feels that he must get involved, even though it could endanger his goal. Narrator Brandon Gill does a great job differentiating between the two boys as they make their way through the obstacles set before them. His delivery suits the story's slow and thoughtful pace, letting listeners stop to consider the same choices that Darius and Twig must make along their emotional journey. Listeners will root for the boys' success and many will find themselves relating easily to the problems they face in their lower socioeconomic neighborhood. A good choice for high school and public libraries in urban settings or where Myers is a popular author.-Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* Darius and Twig have been best friends since they were 9. Now 16, the two dream of finding a world beyond the confines of their daily lives on 145th Street in Harlem. Certainly, their talents are on their side: Darius is a highly intelligent writer, and Twig is a gifted runner. But are the two free to use their gifts? A story Darius has written has been accepted by a college journal contingent on his making editorial changes. Must he give up his singular voice to conform to an editor? As for Twig, are his gifts as a runner being exploited by an unscrupulous adult for personal gain? In his imagination, Darius is his alter ego a falcon flying to impossible heights. But in real life, he and Twig are the targets of mindless bullies who seek to drag them down to their miserable level. Will the friends ultimately be able to soar, or will they remain earthbound victims of their circumstances? Myers has written another gritty, suspenseful, street-smart novel with a viscerally real setting in which young men must struggle to overcome obstacles by finding the best within themselves. In the process, they become the heroes of their own lives and surely will inspire their readers to seek to do the same. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A large-scale promotion tied to Myers' appointment as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature will likely expand the already enormous audience for this title.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Darius, an aspiring writer, and Twig, his star-runner best friend, both want more than Harlem can offer. But even as they begin to experience success in their respective endeavors, violence, bullies, and opportunistic adults threaten their dreams. Myers's usual fire seems replaced by cynicism, but the boys' friendship is well developed and their desire to succeed despite obstacles is admirable and relatable. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
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)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.