The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) by Geoff Rodkey
|The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) by Geoff Rodkey|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A drama of bickering siblings that really does successfully convey the epic qualities of small quibbles. While not perfect, this will still score high on the entertainment scale.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: April 2015|
|Publisher: Orion Books|
|External links: Author's website|
There are two kinds of children in this world, those who are repulsed by farts, and those who delight in letting them rip, or regale their friends for their efforts – or wilfully accuse the innocent of dropping one. You can argue til the cows come home as to what the ratio of those two camps is – which is pretty much what Claudia and Reese, two 12-year old siblings in New York City, do – argue. This time the problem is that Reese loudly announced his sister to have a windy arse right in the middle of the school canteen, which led her to retaliate with a means to make him embarrassingly smelly, which led him to – well, let's just say that when Claudia defines the result as war, she's not far off.
It's Claudia's voice we get mostly in this book, although through some quite clever if convoluted ways we get other opinions too. She's written the escalating dramas down as an oral history book, taping comments from her brother, teachers and friends on her generic tablet device (well, we've not got a product placement agreement with Apple…) and generating a book out of the ensuing dialogue. She includes pictures where relevant – screenshots, her own photos with annotations and diagrams, and has even managed to include the text conversations relevant to the matter from their absent-through-work parents' phones.
Such a style does make some of the telling a little awkward, but on the whole it works – there is certainly an inherently chatty approach which the young reader will enjoy. I do think the book as it is is caught in a small limbo of being on the upper scale of the 'confident reader' bracket, due to the subtlety of the naïve narrator in regard to certain sub-plot, yet it's not one that will last long when the YA books proper get bought to replace it. Before then it's pretty funny – the whole bickering stance and the distinct characters of the twins really enlivening the page just as much as the low word count and layout do.
It gets a little clunky and cheesy at times – it mentions the fruit-based computer, and Facetime, but has to invent certain other connected devices, domains and games for obvious reasons, and I didn't think the final third, where the concluding fixation of the battleground is something I hadn't expected, was as brilliant and meaningful as the author intended. But it did come to the table with a good sense of parody, adding just one more layer to this generally amusing and witty tale. It's perfectly self-contained, too, with nothing hanging as regards this certain war, even if the author admits there will be more to come, so with a couple of smaller caveats that the target audience will likely never notice, this has a lot going for it.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
If your young child is one who enjoys reading about farts, they will guff-aw with The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig by Emer Stamp, which is a blast. Sorry.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) by Geoff Rodkey at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) by Geoff Rodkey at Amazon.com.
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