Twisted. By Laurie Halse Anderson. (2007). New York : Viking. ISBN-10: 0142411841

Plot Summary  

Tyler Miller is a nerd. He’s a nerd who was caught for a graffiti- prank, arrested by the police, and forced to do community service over the summer. But this has some unforseen benefits for Tyler: a fit body and an upgrade in social status. Maybe now the adorable Bethany Milbury will give him the time of day. Whatever Tyler’s senior year is, it isn’t simple, and despite the good things that happen to him, it’s only so long before his new reputation comes back at him with a vengeance.

Critical Evaluation

Laurie Halse Anderson’s first foray into the mind of a male teenager is a bit, well, twisted. The book comes with a warning, “This is not  a book for children.” Tyler’s father is an angry man, and Tyler himself battles with depression, despite some good things that happen for him in the course of the novel.

Twisted includes scenes of teen sexuality, depictions of thoughts of suicide, and a protagonist who seems like a trouble-maker. Yet, through the story we learn that Tyler is not the dangerous kid everyone thinks he is.

Teens will easily relate to Tyler and the trials he goes through in his senior year, while extreme, may mirror their own in many ways.

Reader’s Annotation
Tyler Miller has accidentally become popular over one short summer after a prank leaves him infamous. Now, what should be his greatest year ever, is slowly growing into one giant hole that he can’t dig himself out of.

About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson was born on October 23, 1961 in Potsdam, New York. She started her career as a picture book writer and still enjoys writing them.

Laurie gets her ideas from characters she dreams up, usually a person trapped in an interesting situation, or facing a conflict that forces them to change and grow.

Laurie is the recipient of the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award, for her “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature…”.  Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes, with her four children and her husband Scot, who happens to be her childhood sweetheart.

http://madwomanintheforest.com/
Genre
-Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Ties

N/A
Booktalking Ideas

-Senior Pranks

-Pressures of High School

-Have you ever dreamed of returning to school after the summer a brand new person?
Reading Level/Interest Age

16-18+
Challenge Issues

Like Anderson’s best known title, Speak, this book is filled with difficult circumstances for the protagonist, and includes some real-life situations which parents and younger teens may find uncomfortable. The book does have some scenes dealing with sexuality and thoughts of suicide. What adults need to understand is that there are many depressed teenagers out there today. Their seemingly trivial trials and tribulations mean all the world to them: this is their life, their only life. Again, Anderson gives a voice to a teen who is seen as a trouble-maker, when in actuality, he only tries to do what is right when it really counts.

Why Did You Include This Book?

Best Books:

Amazon Editors’ Picks: Top 10 Books, 2007 ; United States
Choices, 2008 ; Cooperative Children’s Book Center; United States
Kirkus Book Review Stars, February 15, 2007 ; United States
Senior High Core Collection, Seventeenth Edition, 2007 ; The H. W. Wilson Co.; United States
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2008 ; American Library Association; United States
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2008 ; American Library Association; United States
YALSA Teens’ Top Ten, 2008 ; American Library Association; United States
Awards, Honors, Prizes: 

Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award, 2009 Winner Indiana
Heartland Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, 2008 Nominee United States
Thumbs Up! Award, 2008 Honor Book Michigan
State and Provincial Reading Lists: 

Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award, 2008-2009 ; Nominee; Indiana
Gateway Readers Award, 2009-2010 ; Nominee; Missouri
Grand Canyon Reader Award, 2010 ; Nominee; Teen; Arizona
Green Mountain Book Award, 2009-2010 ; Master List; Grades 9-12; Vermont
Kentucky Bluegrass Award, 2009 ; Nominee; Grades 9-12; Kentucky
North Carolina Young Adult Book Award, 2008-2009 ; Booklist; High School; North Carolina
Sequoyah Book Award, 2010 ; Masterlist; High School; Oklahoma
South Carolina Young Adult Book Award, 2009-2010 ; Nominee; South Carolina
Tayshas High School Reading List, 2008-2009 ; Texas
Wisconsin Battle of the Books, 2009-2010 ; Senior; Wisconsin
Young Adult Reading Program, 2008 ; High School; South Dakota
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About thesuperlibrarian

High School Librarian and obsessive reader! On a mission to read as many SUPER YA books as possible!
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