The Tapper Twins Go to War (with Each Other)
By Mary Eisenhart,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Wacky, hilarious tale of feuding brother and sister.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids who know a bit about history will get a kick out of Claudia's wild comparisons of the sibling fray to assorted global conflicts and have fun tracking down some of the references. Bits of New York City local color will delight would-be visitors.
Behind all the conflicts and one-upmanship, it's clear the siblings really are fond of each other.
Positive Role Models
Except for a school administrator who shows a bit of wisdom -- and becomes part of events that involve Claudia falling into one of her own traps -- all the adults here are benign, well-meaning, and hopeless, although the kids do get grounded and lose Internet privileges a lot. Despite having more imagination than sense (hey, they're 12), Reese and Claudia are typical sibs -- much too busy squabbling to notice they actually like each other.
Violence & Scariness
Claudia talks a lot about how she wants to kill Reese and Xander -- and not only in MegaWorld. She uses a lot of hilariously overblown imagery from real wars to illustrate the sibling conflict, including archival photos of explosions, trench warfare, and so on and comparisons to Hitler. She also loves to watch (fictitious) TV dramas she's not supposed to watch, such as Thrones of Death and Violent Housewives. Reese and his annoying pal Xander spend a lot of time in online death matches, and Claudia follows in search of revenge, so there's a lot of hacking, slashing, and killing of virtual opponents. One of the pranks involves a dead fish. Little actual harm befalls anyone.
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Much humor here involves butts, poop, farts, and the like.
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Products & Purchases
Part of the scene-setting involves real-life New York businesses, such as Zabar's and what to order there. An iPad figures in the mayhem, as do soccer clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid. The book concludes with a plug for the next volume.
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.
Where to Read
Based on 2 parent reviews
Couldn’t even finish the book
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The Funniest Book I've Ever Read!
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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
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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