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Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright

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Twins: 04/01/21


In Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright, Maureen and Francine Carter have always done everything together. That's how it goes when you're twins in a tight-knit family. But now they're in middle school and they have separate schedules. Shy Maureen feels on her own as Francine rebrands herself as Fran.

Maureen is also faced with being enrolled in the cadet corps instead of p.e. She's terrible at marching and can't face getting her first B or worse. Her drill sergeant / teacher suggests she run for office as extra credit. That's the set up for the core plot, one that's similar to Act by Kayla Miller (2020) except that Maureen is running against her twin.

In this set up there will be a winner and a loser. The question here is how will the stress of the election affect the family and that unique bond that twins share. Midway through there's a moment where it appears their parents will force Fran to drop out, thus giving Maureen an uncontested win. Thankfully the twins manage to convince their parents that this is unnecessary.

What makes this book work is the character growth of the twins, their parents, and their friends. While they're are misunderstandings and miscommunications, everyone does eventually talk. Arguments happen. Feelings are hurt. People apologize. Hurt feelings are mending. Characters grow.

Five stars

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