Jonathan Friesen Jerk, California

ISBN 13: 9780142412039

Jerk, California

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9780142412039: Jerk, California
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Read Jonathan Friesen's posts on the Penguin Blog.

This Schneider Family Book Award winner changed the face of Tourette's Syndrome for modern teens. Wrought with tension, romance, and hope, Jerk, California tells the story of Sam, who sets out on a cross-country quest to learn the truth about his family and his inherited Tourette's Syndrome, along the way finding both love and acceptance.

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About the Author:

Jerk, California is Jonathan Friesen’s first novel. A fourteen-year public school teacher and writing instructor at the University of Minnesota, Jonathan shares his passion for writing with children of all ages—including three of his own, whom he home schools. He lives in Mora, Minnesota.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up—Sam Carrier's bitter, abusive stepfather, Old Bill, is ashamed of the boy's Tourette's Syndrome, and makes the teen feel that shame at every turn. He also makes Sam's life a misery by constantly telling him that his father was a no-good deserter. Upon his high school graduation, Sam meets George, a friend of his long-dead father, who attempts to undo the harm that Old Bill has done over the years. Sam (whose real name turns out to be Jack) embarks on a cross-country road trip to discover his roots, his identity, and his love for Naomi, who tags along, bringing some unexpected baggage. The story is compelling, especially Sam/Jack's quest for a deeper understanding of himself through his father's legacy. Along the way, he stays in the homes of his father's old friends and puts the pieces of his parents' life together. There is an abundance of inner dialogue, so much that readers may have trouble distinguishing between what Sam thinks, tells himself, or says to others. As soon as he meets George and his period of discovery begins, the book is a quick read, and the excitement of his journey will keep most readers turning the pages to see what's around the bend.—Nora G. Murphy, Los Angeles Academy Middle School
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