“Darius & Twig” focuses on two boys (you guessed it, Darius and Twig) who live in Harlem. They live in a neighborhood that sees a lot of violence, and they are surrounded by people who don’t want them to succeed. Darius has a lot of skill as a writer, Twig is a long distance running champ, and they both want nothing more than to show not only the world, but themselves, that they aren’t the Harlem stereotype of gun-wielding thugs.
Myers shows through Darius’s inner thoughts and his dialogue with Twig just how strongly stereotypes can affect us. Even though Darius and Twig both know they have gifts within themselves to not become what America expects them to be, they both have seeds of doubt that make them wonder if they really have potential to succeed.
Experiencing these seeds of doubt through Darius and Twig made me realize how quickly I can be to judge people and places outside of my own Los Angeles bubble. When I think of Harlem, I don’t think of brilliant boys such as Darius and Twig, but of the crime that is so often highlighted in media. This judgment only compounds onto the doubt that kids reminiscent of Darius and Twig experience in real life. This book has helped me understand that America as a whole needs to support all of our communities by looking past stereotypes and supporting success regardless of what media tell us people from a certain area are like. From the gun-wielding thug stereotype of Harlem to the country hick stereotype of the South, it’s time we all start helping each other reach our potential as opposed to keep each other down.
Offers two teenage boy characters for male readers to relate to without alienating female readers.
Moments where you can't help but whoop out loud as you cheer on protagonists.