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Never Mind!: A Twin Novel

Overview

Edward and Meg are like night and day. How could such different people be twins? Well, they are, but they don't have to like it — or each other.

For seventh grade, brainy Meg is attending ultra-competitive Fischer, while freewheeling Edward goes to an alternative school downtown. But it's just when they're finally out of each other's shadows that the trouble begins. Meg's aspirations for popularity and a boyfriend combine with Edward's devious planning and lack of singing ...

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Overview

Edward and Meg are like night and day. How could such different people be twins? Well, they are, but they don't have to like it — or each other.

For seventh grade, brainy Meg is attending ultra-competitive Fischer, while freewheeling Edward goes to an alternative school downtown. But it's just when they're finally out of each other's shadows that the trouble begins. Meg's aspirations for popularity and a boyfriend combine with Edward's devious planning and lack of singing ability to set off a showdown the likes of which twindom has never before seen.

Why is this final showdown so much fun? Could it be that Meg and Edward are more alike than they thought?

Twelve-year-old New York City twins Meg and Edward have nothing in common, so they are just as shocked as everyone else when Meg's hopes for popularity and Edward's mischievous schemes coincidentally collide in a hilarious showdown.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Collaborating on a novel alternately narrated by seventh-grade twins, Avi and Vail invent a sit-comish plot but redeem it by endowing their characters with strong voices and relaying their mishaps with plenty of wit," said PW. Ages 10-up. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, May 2004: Meg and Edward are twins, but as different as night and day. Meg looks almost grown-up and is a star athlete. Edward is small, uncoordinated and prefers video games. Meg has tons of friends. Edward has one. Meg tries too hard. Edward just gets by. And, at the beginning of their seventh grade year, Meg has transferred to a school for the gifted and talented, leaving her friends and especially Edward behind. All of the popular girls belong to the "High Achiever's Club," and Meg desperately wants to fit in. So desperately that she makes up a little white lie about her brother that snowballs out of control. Little does Meg realize, though, that the connection between twins can go beyond the obvious into the almost absurd. In alternating chapters with two distinct characters, Avi and Vail tell the tale of a week turned inside out and upside down on parallel tracks that are destined to converge. Readers find themselves rooting for Meg, and then rooting for Edward. And if you think you know how the story will end, never mind! Identity and acceptance, the twin motivators of adolescence, are given a light touch in this funny and fast-paced novel in two voices. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2004, HarperTrophy, 200p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Michele Winship
Children's Literature
Meg and Edward are twins but they are such opposites that it is hard to believe they are related. Meg is tall, studious and ambitious whereas Edward is short, free-spirited and rebellious. Personalities this different cannot stay in the same place for long without sparring so the twins' parents place them in separate schools—but if the two are so happy to be apart, why is it that both Meg and Edward both go out of their way to intrude on each other's social life? In alternating chapters, Meg and Edward talk about seventh grade and the party of the year that changes the way everyone views the twins as well as the way they view themselves and their fractious relationship. The novel is funny and is well paced. Meg, always the straight-laced student, and Edward, eternally up to mischief, come across as caricatures at times but both find some personal balance by the end. Readers who feel they just cannot relate to their siblings will find this book entertaining. 2004, HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 10 to 13.
—Rihoko Ueno
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Seventh-grade twins Edward and Meg are the first to proclaim that they are as different as night and day; Edward is a puny free spirit who attends an "alternative" middle school, while Meg is a control freak with low self-esteem. The twins take turns telling the story of how Meg's desire to fit in with the popular girls in her elite school and Edward's inability to resist taking his sister down a peg result in a fabrication of monstrous proportions. Soon everyone at Meg's school thinks she has a tall, gorgeous, rock star brother named Ted, a fiction that Edward (unbeknownst to Meg) encourages by impersonating Ted on the phone. The voices of the twins are eerily realistic and convincing, from Edward's choppy, casual comments on life to Meg's anguished ruminations. The readiness of most characters to believe whatever people tell them, leading to ludicrous misunderstandings, requires a willing suspension of disbelief, but the way events rapidly spin out of control makes this an enticing read for boys and girls alike. The climax, during which Edward's makeshift band does NOT suddenly become the next Nirvana, is hysterically funny and over-the-top, yet completely realistic. The twins' dawning tolerance and appreciation of one another at the end is a little pat considering their earlier violent antipathy, but also quite a relief. Light, fun, and sure to be popular.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Avi and Vail pair up in this often hilarious and sometimes poignant comedy of errors starring 12-year-old dueling fraternal twins. On the surface, Edward and Meg couldn't be more different-"like night and day," as their mother says. Separately, they are struggling to figure out who they are as individuals. The story unfolds in Manhattan in just five days, shortly after they've started seventh grade-Meg at a school for highly gifted students, and Edward at Charlton Street Alternative. What starts out as a way for Meg to appear cool-she reinvents her "immature, runty, underachiever" brother as a "brilliant, rock/classical bass player" in a hip band-and for Edward to embarrass his sister, escalates into screwball comedy. Surprised by what happens, they realize they have more in common than they thought, and also emerge with a stronger sense of themselves as individuals. The authors explore complicated early adolescent dilemmas and conflicts with comedic agility. It's a real collaboration; the alternating voices of their characters ring true, and the narrative is seamless. (Fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060543167
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/26/2005
  • Edition description: Two books in one
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 262,254
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Avi

Avi is the author of more than sixty books, including Crispin: The Cross of Lead, a Newbery Medal winner, and Crispin: At the Edge of the World. His other acclaimed titles include The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth, both Newbery Honor Books, and most recently The Seer of Shadows. He lives with his family in Colorado.

Rachel Vail is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels If We Kiss and Lucky, Gorgeous, and Brilliant (the Avery sisters trilogy) and more than a dozen other novels for young teens, including the Friendship Ring series. Rachel has also written many beloved picture books, including Piggy Bunny and Sometimes I'm Bombaloo, and two hit novels for elementary school kids, Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters; and Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom. Rachel lives in New York City with her husband and their two sons.

Biography

Born in Manhattan in 1937, Avi Wortis grew up in Brooklyn in a family of artists and writers. Despite his bright and inquisitive nature, he did poorly in school. After several academic failures, he was diagnosed with a writing impairment called dysgraphia which caused him to reverse letters and misspell words. The few writing and spelling skills he possessed he had gleaned from his favorite hobby, reading -- a pursuit enthusiastically encouraged in his household.

Following junior high school, Avi was assigned to a wonderful tutor whose taught him basic skills and encouraged in him a real desire to write. "Perhaps it was stubbornness," he recalled in an essay appearing on the Educational Paperback Association's website, "but from that time forward I wanted to write in some way, some form. It was the one thing everybody said I could not do."

Avi finally learned to write, and well! He attended Antioch University, graduated from the University of Wisconsin, and received a master's degree in library science from Columbia in 1964. He worked as a librarian for the New York Public Library's theater collection and for Trenton State College, and taught college courses in children's literature, while continuing to write -- mostly plays -- on the side. In the 1970s, with two sons of his own, he began to craft stories for children. "[My] two boys loved to hear stories," he recalled. "We played a game in which they would give me a subject ('a glass of water') and I would have to make up the story right then. Out of that game came my first children's book, Things That Sometimes Happen." A collection of "Very Short Stories for Little Listeners," Avi's winning debut received very positive reviews. "Sounding very much like the stories that children would make up themselves," raved Kirkus Reviews, "these are daffy and nonsensical, starting and ending in odd places and going sort of nowhere in the middle. The result, however, is inevitably a sly grin."

Avi has gone on to write dozens of books for kids of all ages. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1991) and Nothing but the Truth (1992) were named Newbery Honor Books, and in 2003, he won the prestigious Newbery Medal for his 14th-century adventure tale, Crispin: The Cross of Lead. His books range from mysteries and adventure stories to historical novels and coming-of-age tales; and although there is often a strong moral core to his work, he leavens his message with appealing warmth and humor. Perhaps his philosophy is summed up best in this quote from his author profile on Scholastic's website: "I want my readers to feel, to think, sometimes to laugh. But most of all I want them to enjoy a good read."

Good To Know

In a Q&A with his publisher, Avi named Robert Louis Stevenson as one of his greatest inspirations, noting that "he epitomizes a kind of storytelling that I dearly love and still read because it is true, it has validity, and beyond all, it is an adventure."

When he's not writing, Avi enjoys photography as one of his favorite hobbies.

Avi got his unique nickname from his twin sister, Emily..

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    1. Also Known As:
      Avi Wortis (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 23, 1937
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Never Mind!

A Twin Novel
By Avi

HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: 0060543140

Chapter One

Edward

Though my sister, Meg, and I were born on the same day, I am ten minutes older, which -- trust me -- is a lot. True, we have the same parents, live in the same 106th Street apartment, same city, state, country, continent. But I'm nothing like her. No way, big way. So I didn't consider myself her twin.

Like, in fifth grade we had to interview our grandparents, asking them sixteen questions the teacher handed out. No offense, but our grandparents are not that interesting. So I made up new answers. Problem was the teacher didn't believe my grandmother hunted armadillos with a bow and arrow or that my grand-father had the world's largest under-glass ant farm.

Meg did the boring facts. Got an A.

Then there was that time we had to do a report on a favorite animal. Meg wrote about the three-day life of our only pet, a sorry goldfish named Polly. There was nothing to say, really. It lived, it ate, it went belly-up.

I wrote about my pet porcupine, which lived in my closet and chased away burglars. When I read it out loud in class, everyone laughed except Meg . . . and the teacher.

Fortunately, this year my parents figured out a way to send us to different middle schools for seventh grade.

"You each have your own talents and styles," Mom said.

"We like it that you're each unusual in your own way," added my dad. "We want to encourage your individuality."

So when seventh grade started -- three weeks ago -- Meg went to Fischer High on the East Side. I went to Charlton Street Alternative School, downtown.

Meg, as usual, will probably get As in all her classes. An A- or B+ on a quiz means supersulks.

My new school doesn't give grades, because they aren't considered meaningful. You pass or fail in small classes where we do lots of projects, field trips, and hands-on stuff. So far, considering that I have to go to school, it seems okay.

Meg isn't just a perfect student. She's also great at sports. She has show-off ribbons (swimming) and trophies (soccer).

I like skateboarding.

Her room is spotless.

My room is a mess.

Meg expects to become a senator. Maybe president. Grown-ups like that. "Good for you," they say. "Like to see that kind of ambition. You've got my vote." Ha ha. Not mine.

If they ask me what I'm going to do, I just say, "Nothing." My hero? Bill Gates. World's richest man -- didn't go to college.

Also, Meg looks a lot older than me. She's at least a foot taller -- a frigging giantess -- and thinks she can look and act like an eighth grader. Ninth, maybe.

Me? The first day of school, Mr. Feffer, the bald teacher with gross hair tufts in his nose, asked me the date of my birth because he wasn't sure I was even supposed to be in the seventh grade. That's how puny people think I am. My rat's-tail haircut and fake tattoos don't help.

Also, Meg has six gazillion friends. If she isn't in a crowd, she feels like she's on a desert island. She and her friends talk to each other on the phone all the time. When she hangs up and I ask, "Who was that?" she'll always answer, "One of my friends you don't know."

(Of course I do know. Because I often listen in on the kitchen extension. My sister may be smart, but she ain't too swift.)

Until this week I had one friend, Stuart Barcaster. While he is the best dude in the world -- and worth more than all her friends put together -- he was the only one I had.

Get my point? She's twelve noon. I'm midnight. We are that different.

So, then, how can I explain what happened?

Continues...

Excerpted from Never Mind! by Avi Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

Never Mind!
A Twin Novel

Chapter One

Edward

Though my sister, Meg, and I were born on the same day, I am ten minutes older, which -- trust me -- is a lot. True, we have the same parents, live in the same 106th Street apartment, same city, state, country, continent. But I'm nothing like her. No way, big way. So I didn't consider myself her twin.

Like, in fifth grade we had to interview our grandparents, asking them sixteen questions the teacher handed out. No offense, but our grandparents are not that interesting. So I made up new answers. Problem was the teacher didn't believe my grandmother hunted armadillos with a bow and arrow or that my grand-father had the world's largest under-glass ant farm.

Meg did the boring facts. Got an A.

Then there was that time we had to do a report on a favorite animal. Meg wrote about the three-day life of our only pet, a sorry goldfish named Polly. There was nothing to say, really. It lived, it ate, it went belly-up.

I wrote about my pet porcupine, which lived in my closet and chased away burglars. When I read it out loud in class, everyone laughed except Meg . . . and the teacher.

Fortunately, this year my parents figured out a way to send us to different middle schools for seventh grade.

"You each have your own talents and styles," Mom said.

"We like it that you're each unusual in your own way," added my dad. "We want to encourage your individuality."

So when seventh grade started -- three weeks ago -- Meg went to Fischer High on the East Side. I went to Charlton Street Alternative School, downtown.

Meg, as usual, will probably get As in all her classes. An A- or B+ on a quiz means supersulks.

My new school doesn't give grades, because they aren't considered meaningful. You pass or fail in small classes where we do lots of projects, field trips, and hands-on stuff. So far, considering that I have to go to school, it seems okay.

Meg isn't just a perfect student. She's also great at sports. She has show-off ribbons (swimming) and trophies (soccer).

I like skateboarding.

Her room is spotless.

My room is a mess.

Meg expects to become a senator. Maybe president. Grown-ups like that. "Good for you," they say. "Like to see that kind of ambition. You've got my vote." Ha ha. Not mine.

If they ask me what I'm going to do, I just say, "Nothing." My hero? Bill Gates. World's richest man -- didn't go to college.

Also, Meg looks a lot older than me. She's at least a foot taller -- a frigging giantess -- and thinks she can look and act like an eighth grader. Ninth, maybe.

Me? The first day of school, Mr. Feffer, the bald teacher with gross hair tufts in his nose, asked me the date of my birth because he wasn't sure I was even supposed to be in the seventh grade. That's how puny people think I am. My rat's-tail haircut and fake tattoos don't help.

Also, Meg has six gazillion friends. If she isn't in a crowd, she feels like she's on a desert island. She and her friends talk to each other on the phone all the time. When she hangs up and I ask, "Who was that?" she'll always answer, "One of my friends you don't know."

(Of course I do know. Because I often listen in on the kitchen extension. My sister may be smart, but she ain't too swift.)

Until this week I had one friend, Stuart Barcaster. While he is the best dude in the world -- and worth more than all her friends put together -- he was the only one I had.

Get my point? She's twelve noon. I'm midnight. We are that different.

So, then, how can I explain what happened?

Never Mind!
A Twin Novel
. Copyright © by Sebastien Avi. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 5, 2011

    Wow, Amazing.

    This book is amazing.Totally wicked.Who would ever thought that would happen.Unexpecting things happen.Sorry I can't tell you what happens ,you just have to read it.Tempted to read it aren't you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2007

    Ugghh

    This book was HORRIBLE! I usually love what Avi writes but this? This was horrible, i hated it. I would never recommend this to anyone what so ever.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2006

    Am I reading the author's right?

    *Sighs* To me, this is a disappoinment. I've read alot of books by Avi. This was too, (how should I say?), teenage-hormony like for my taste. Avi usually does books that anyone of any age can relate to. I can understand the whole idea of two siblings (twins at birth), but different gender, thus different personality and to write about (if well-written), it can be very interesting and relatable. But 'Never Mind' is not that. The 'comic humor' that is supposedly had in this book, I don't see. The plot is weak and volatile. And the idea of getting both sides of the story (Meg's, and Edward's), it's a good idea, but how it's delivered, is completely awful. What happens is is that, in one chapter, you hear Meg's side of the story, then all of the sudden, it switches to Ed. At times, that confused me, then it lost me. Pathetic.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2008

    Never mind review

    The book Never mind! A twin novel, written by Rachel Vail and Avi is about a pair of twins. The twin¿s names are Meg and Edward. Even though they are twins, they¿re completely opposite from each other, like night and day. The problem starts when Meg talks about a High Achiever¿s Club at dinner. Edward just has to go and mess her up like any other brother. When Meg receives a phone call from someone in the High Achiever¿s Club, Meg lies to her about having an awesome brother ¿Ted¿ instead of her regular brother, the onion, Edward. Edward decides to ruin his sister¿s chances of getting into the club. And that¿s where it starts getting interesting¿ This is a very interesting book. One of my favorites books actually. My favorite part is when Meg and her dad are arguing about Monopoly. I like one book for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons that I like this book is that it¿s a page turner. You want to read what happens next. It¿s because the authors create cliffhangers and suspense. There are a lot of other reasons too but you¿ll have to read the book to find out those reasons!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2008

    Never Mind

    In the book ¿Never Mind¿ by Avi and Rachel Vail, Meg and Edward 'twins in high school' don¿t get along. Meg is always worried about fitting in/ popularity and Edward doesn¿t care about what everyone else thinks but gets very jealous of Meg¿s accomplishments, and wants to ruin Meg¿s life. During the middle of the book Meg gets too wrapped up in becoming popular that everything becomes a bundle of lies. Do the lies become too big for her and her twin? The book was good, because of the plot. I can really relate to the book. The book has a lot of twist and turns, but overall it turned out to be pretty good. The book is funny in some ways and very enjoyable. The ending wasn¿t the best because I was expecting Meg and Edward to have a chapter together 'that bothered me a lot', because each chapter is told by a different character. Towards the very end of the book, Edward asks Meg to join him skateboarding, which showed hoe close they connected trough out the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2008

    A great book

    I liked this book because it was a funny and a fun book. This book was easy and fast to read. Never Mind is funny because it's about twin brother and sister and how they get along. There are two twins named Edward and Meg. Edward is a D- student and plays in a band. Meg an A+ student and has lots of friends. They fight all the time. They had so many fights that they were sent to two different schools. They really liked going to different schools. Edward was asked to be an a band by some 8th graders. Meg made lots of friends and worked hard to get good grades. This book will keep your attention because there are a lot of litttle conflicts. One of them was when Meg was trying to keep Edward a secret. Her friend Kimberly found out about her twin brother, Edward and Meg was embarassed. One more conflict was when Meg didn't want Edwards band to play at her party. Meg told Kimberly she had a band she needed him to play. Edward didn't want to so she had no band. I would recomend this book to everyone because it is very funny and it will also keep laughing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2008

    Fantastic Book!

    I have a twin brother. He's a lot like Meg's in this book and he's really irritating. Avi got everything just right. I really know what Meg's going through and I think that this book really makes you think about what your brother's side of it is. Good job Avi! Reccomended to all twin brothers and sisters!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2007

    Meg and Ed in trouble.

    v Wow, do these twins get in a lot of trouble! In the book Never Mind by Avi. Two twins, Meg and Ed, hate each other. Meg and Ed have to go to two different schools because their mom thinks they are unique and need to be treated differently. Even though they are separated all day, the minute they get home they start fighting. They argue about the bathroom, snacks and even watching TV. This book makes you want to read it more and more because Ed always starts the fight. They have a big problem but in order to get out of it, they have to work together. There they learned their lesson and became best friends. Reading this book reminds me about the fights me and my brother have. We get into a lot of trouble too. We argue also, but I love him and he loves me. I would recommend this book to the fourth graders and the fifth graders because many students will identify with the characters. By: Melissa Rico

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2007

    not that good

    I did not really enjoy this book because it was kind of boring i would not recomend this book to anybody only the people who like boring books

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2007

    I love this book!

    I like how this book was written from two perspectives and the fact that the two main characters are twins just makes this book all the more fun. It does get hard to keep track of the fine lines of each character, though. You have to make sure you sometime go back and refresh your memory. Altogether I found this book easy to relate to. I have an older brother and I always love dissing him every once in a while. I recommend this book to anyone who has a sibling becasue I think you can really relate to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2006

    I Love Never-Mind!!!!!

    Never Mind is so funny!! Its one of the funniest books I've ever read. I never really liked Avi until I read this book for battle of the books. It was very humerous and having two authors writing from different perspectives in the same book made it really good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2006

    Never Mind!

    I hated all other books by Avi but this one is differnt. It is soo funny and teens can def. relate! The characters are so real, and are people anyone would be friends with.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2005

    Never Mind: A Twin Novel

    the book is hilarious. i couldn't stop laughing at edward. he's so funny....and cute. id highly recommend it to everyone. Id never think someone wouldn't like it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2005

    Never Mind: A Twin Novel

    it was absolutely hilarious! I would never think someone wouldn't like that book. I laughed night and day over edward. he's just so funny....and ever so cute!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2005

    REALLY BAD BOOK!!!

    I really never liked Avi's books, and I thought I might give it another try. Look at this silly book! Well, it's for teens but I'm only 10. So I reallllllllllllly hated it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2005

    Viva La Difference!

    'Never Mind: A Twin Novel' was a fun story of twins that were as different as day and night. One was an over- achiever, the other carefree and fun -loving. Did we mention that they were boy and girl twins? Sibling rivalry is so well developed in this story that it makes you laugh. Our book group concluded that it is simply okay to be different. We should embrace diversity of all kinds. Perhaps the twins being two extreme personalities could learn from each other.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

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