A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Tapper Twins Go to War (with Each Other) is a hilarious tale of 12-year-olds Reese and Claudia, whose sibling conflict escalates to include pranks, revenge plots, one-upmanship, dead fish, gorgonzola, and online death matches. Author Geoff Rodkey, (The Chronicles of Egg), no stranger to formulaic hilarity, seems to have spent a lot of time hanging out with bickering middle schoolers and is in brilliant form as he crafts this story as Claudia's after-the-fact "oral history," complete with text messages and screen shots. There' s no strong language, but much of the humor involves butts, poop, and farts. This is the first book in a planned series.
What's the story?
It all starts at the breakfast table of the Tapper apartment on New York's Upper West Side. Twelve-year-old Reese thinks Claudia, his twin, ate the last toaster pastry. She says she didn't. Reese bides his time till they're all at lunch in the cafeteria of their posh private school and then blames Claudia for a major fart. She says it wasn't her, but that doesn't stop Reese's annoying soccer buddies and all the sixth-grade mean girls from dubbing her Princess Farts-a-Lot. Claudia -- sharp, snarky, and full of herself -- plots revenge. As told in Claudia's after-the-fact "oral history," with text messages, screen shots, online-gaming death matches, and a lot of editorial commentary, escalating mayhem ensues.
Is it any good?
It's all pretty hilarious. Since at least the dawn of the 20th-century sitcom, show business has mined a rich vein of humor involving smart kids running circles around clue-impaired adults. THE TAPPER TWINS GO TO WAR (WITH EACH OTHER) follows enthusiastically in this tradition. There's little adult supervision in sight; their nanny is sweet but not the brightest, while their parents (seen mainly in text messages) are completely out of their depth. Wily Claudia in particular deceives and manipulates anyone who gets in her way.
Author Geoff Rodkey is firing on all cylinders as Claudia tells the story in emails, text messages, margin scribbles, cartoon art, and after-the-fact interviews with the people involved. There are plenty of zingers too, such as this bit about Reese's obnoxious pal: "Xander is ACTUALLY RELATED to somebody who was on the Mayflower. Which is why it's so completely ridiculous that he tries to talk like a rapper from the South Bronx."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how things go viral in social media. Do you know anyone who posted something for a joke and had it get completely out of hand?
Why do you think rich kids in New York want to talk like rappers? Do you think they sound cool or silly?
When you finish a book and there's a promotion at the end for the next book in the series, are you glad to know about it or mad that the publisher is including ads in your book?
- Author: Geoff Rodkey
- Illustrator: Geoff Rodkey
- Genre: Humor
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: April 7, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 240
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (abridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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