Book Review

Darius and Twig – Walter Dean Myers

Darius & Twig

Darius & Twig by Walter Dean Myers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Darius and Twig is a short contemporary novel set in Harlem. It follows two best friends, Darius and Twig, as they struggle to figure out who they are and where they want to go in life. Darius is a writer and dreams of having his stories earn him a scholarship to get out of Harlem. Twig just loves to run. He doesn’t want to lose that love by selling out to scouts and reporters who just want a hand in the ‘next big thing’ or to get a running scholarship for school because he doesn’t know if he even wants to go to college. They each have dreams and live for each other’s achievements, although Darius celebrates vicariously through Twig much more often than the reverse.

Myers does what he always does in his books, which is focus on the characters. He illuminates their worlds, the good and the bad, and writes stories about real life. They struggle and they can’t always cope with the bad around them. They want to escape. They want to be more than they are, yet they’re told every day that they will never be more than they are. That authenticity is what makes Myers’ books shine and make them so relatable for so many people. They also give an insight into a world that doesn’t always get authentic representation and is not experienced by everyone, so there is a sense of empathy and understanding that might be gleaned from the reading of Myers’ books. No, you won’t understand the plight of people in Harlem like you might if you experienced it yourself – but perhaps you will be a little more open-minded and knowledgable in the future.

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