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May 25, 2015

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Pick of the Day: Darius & Twig (Audio)

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Darius and Twig. By Walter Dean Myers. 4 cassettes or 4 CDs: 4:15 hrs. Recorded Books. 2013. cassette: ISBN 978-1-4703-6203-4, CD: ISBN 978-1-61976. $46.75.
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. This novel (Amistad, 2013) is 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

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