Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: It starts, not surprisingly, with a fart. Reese accuses his twin sister Claudia in front of a bunch of sixth graders, and Claudia decides she wants revenge. So she puts a dead fish in his backpack. War between the siblings is declared, and the battles escalate. The oral history of this conflict has been compiled by Claudia, and is told mostly as short snippets alternating between Reese and Claudia, with occasional additions from other characters. Texts between the parents appear in almost every chapter, as do sketches and photographs. In the end, the twins learn a thing or two about revenge, cyberbullying, and each other. Recommended for grades 3-6.
Pros: Written by the screenwriter of Daddy Day Care and RV, this book has its finger squarely on the pulse of contemporary eleven-year-olds. My expectations were low, but I was pleasantly surprised by both the story and the characters. The most reluctant reader may be enticed by this book, and fans will be happy to see that the first chapter of the sequel is included at the end.
Cons: Great literature? Let’s just say this book won’t be on the short list for the Newbery Medal.