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.
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...