Morristown & Morris Township Library YA Room
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Review: Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen

Review Haiku:
Tourette's Syndrome is
tough on Sam, but there is more
to him than just that.

Jerk, California is the story of Sam Carrier.  He's bullied at school, he's bullied at home by stepfather, and the poor kid even bullies himself sometimes.  Sam just wants to be normal, but the tics and stutters of Tourette's Syndrome makes it really tough to fly under the radar.

After he graduates from high school, Sam takes a landscaping job.  Through the stories of his employer, George (aka "the old coot"), Sam learns some things about his father, who died when Sam was a baby.  With these stories in mind, Sam takes off on a cross country trip with a girl named Naomi, each of them hoping to find something different along the way.

This book is REAL.  It's real life with hard truths.  It's a tough read at times because you can't reach through the pages and give Sam a hug.  I think with a decent support system Sam could have a wonderful life, but alas, I have no bearing on the lives of fictional characters.  It's a great read for older teens, particularly ones who don't know much about Tourette's Syndrome. 

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