You guys. This is one of my all time favorite middle school chapters books. Well, now, anyways since it wasn’t around when I was a kid.
I lead a book club for fifth graders. The teacher requires the books to be a specific lexile (in our case 800-1200), the girls wanted a humorous book, and I really wanted a strong female lead. I love the classics like Old Yeller and The Hatchet, but I really wanted to highlight a strong, goal oriented, capable female.
After some googling, I came up with “The Tapper Twins Go to War (with each other)” by Geoff Rodkey. This book is pure genius. It exposes the kids to a genre that many fifth graders aren’t exposed to: Oral History. Oral History – and the kids loved it!
Also, it met the other requirements I was looking for, huge bonus.
The story highlights the excitement of a prank war between two twin siblings. In between the bouts of goofiness were the more serious aspects of a war history, such as the guilt brought on by doing such awful acts to each other and hearing the cries of those affected negatively by the actions.
However, the book was gentle enough that I felt comfortable having them read those parts alone at home and then facilitating a real discussion while in group about the correlation to real war. They grasped the meaning but kept their sweet innocence in tact.
What I disliked:
Nothing. I HIGHLY recommend this book for middle school students.
What I liked:
I loved the humor, I loved how the female lead was preparing herself to run for president some day, I loved the genuine niceness of the male lead, I loved the oral history aspect of this book, I loved how modern it is, and I loved that five out of the six girls I had in the group literally begged for the next Tapper Twins book in the series to be our next in Book Club. Serious win.
I loved that it is an easy read. Despite being over 200 pages long, the girls asked to take on more reading than normal and finished it in record time. It included texts, chats, emails and metaworld (Minecraft) references.
Where to find it:
We found ours on Amazon for less than $6, and you can, too!