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Never mind: a twin novel

by Avi


Book Review

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Publishers Weekly :

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Collaborating on a novel alternately narrated by middle-grade twins, Newbery Medalist Avi (Crispin) and Vail (the Friendship Ring books) invent a sit-comish plot but redeem it by endowing their characters with strong voices and relaying their mishaps with plenty of wit. Entering seventh grade, Meg and Edward Runyon attend different schools for the first time. Meg has been accepted to a gifted and talented program (she confesses that she is neither gifted nor talented, just always tries "too hard"), while less academically inclined Edward opts for an alternative school. Resentment and rivalry kick in when Edward eavesdrops on desperate-to-impress Meg's phone conversation with the popular, snobbish Kimberly Wu Woodson and hears himself renamed Ted and described as the star of an almost-famous rock band. To pay Meg back, Edward becomes Ted, calls up Kimberly and agrees to have his band (he calls it Never Mind) perform at her party the following Saturday night. Avi and Vail let each twin take turns recounting the events of the intervening days as (predictably) complications multiply and tempers flare, and witty remarks rebound and insights come into focus. Although this novel doesn't measure up to either author's usual work, it vibrantly expresses universal tween woes, and underneath the hokey set-up, the characters' growth feels realistic and rewarding. Ages 10-up.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Review

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School Library Journal :

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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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.:

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