Coming up with ideas for booklists isn’t always easy…we like to do something that people will look for, but maybe not find easily. Then we look back through some of the questions we’ve been asked over the last few months, where we always find some good ideas. This month’s Good Idea? Twins! Triplets! Quadruplets and even Quintuplets! It’s multiples madness!
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Double (or Triple!) the Trouble Family Stories: Twins, Triplets, Quadruplets…
Never Mind!: a Twin novel by Avi and Rachel Vail
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?
Go long! by Tiki and Ronde Barber
Tiki and Ronde were the stars of their Pee Wee football team, the Cave Springs Vikings. But middle school is much bigger than elementary school and it’s a whole different game—on and off the field. When Coach Spangler takes a job coaching for the high school team and Tiki’s old science teacher Mr. Wheeler is tapped for the middle school coaching job, the beginning of the school year and the football season is off to a bumpy start. But through working together, the boys discover that the whole team is bigger than any of its parts.
Do You Know the Monkey Man? by Dori Hillestad Butler
For thirteen-year-old Samantha, life consists of too many unanswered questions. Why has her father not tried to contact her all these years? How could he have allowed her twin sister to drown in Clearwater Quarry when they were only toddlers? And how can Samantha’s mother expect her to accept some man she hardly knows as her new father? Samantha already has a father out there. Somewhere. A fateful decision sets into motion a chain of events and confrontations that will change Samantha’s and her family’s lives forever. As she sets out to find her father and discover what really happened the day her sister was presumed drowned, she uncovers painful secrets that threaten to destroy her family all over again. Readers will be drawn into Dori Butler’s dramatic, suspenseful, and sensitive story of one family’s crisis unwittingly brought on by an adolescent girl’s search for the truth.
Lost and Found by Andrew Clements
Identical twins Ray and Jay Grayson are moving to a new town. Again. But at least they’ll have each other’s company at their new school. Except, on the first day of sixth grade, Ray stays home sick, and Jay quickly discovers a major mistake: No one knows about his brother. Ray’s not on the attendance lists and doesn’t have a locker, or even a student folder. Jay decides that this lost information could be very…useful. And fun. Maybe even a little dangerous. As these two clever boys exploit a clerical oversight, each one discovers new perspectives on selfhood, friendship, and honesty.
Trading Faces by Julia DeVillers, Jennifer Roy
Identical twin sisters Emma (the smart one) and Payton (the popular one) start seventh grade at a brand-new school and discover they’ve been assigned entirely different schedules—so when they get sick of their respective cliques, they secretly switch places. What ensues is a hilarious yet poignant romp from middle school to the mall as the twins learn what it means to be true to yourself, even when the rest of the world isn’t making it easy. Read the whole series: Take Two, Times Squared, Double Feature and Triple Trouble.
The Girl With the Broken Wing by Heather Dye
A sweet and funny story about an unruly angel. The twins are in bed when it happens. They hear a sound like a wet cabbage hitting the wall. Then a clattering on roof tiles. Followed by a tapping at the window. It’s a girl. With a broken wing. And she’s here to stay. Who is she? Where did she come from? And, more important, what does she want? The twins have no idea. Perhaps she’s their guardian angel. But would an angel have filthy feet? Would an angel…snore?
Remarkable: a novel by Lizzie K. Foley
In the mountain town of Remarkable, everyone is extraordinarily talented, extraordinarily gifted, or just plain extraordinary. Everyone, that is, except Jane Doe, the most average ten-year-old who ever lived. But everything changes when the mischievous, downright criminal Grimlet twins enroll in Jane’s school and a strange pirate captain appears in town. Thus begins a series of adventures that put some of Remarkable’s most infamous inhabitants and their long-held secrets in danger. It’s up to Jane, in her own modest style, to come to the rescue and prove that she is capable of some rather exceptional things. With a page-turning mystery and larger-than-life cast of characters, Lizzie K. Foley’s debut is nothing short of remarkable.
The Other Half of my Heart by Sundee T. Frazier
The close relationship of a pair of biracial twins is tested when their grandmother enters them in a pageant for African American girls in this new story from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner Sundee T. Frazier. When Minerva and Keira King were born, they made headlines: Keira is black like Mama, but Minni is white like Daddy. Together the family might look like part of a chessboard row, but they are first and foremost the close-knit Kings. Then Grandmother Johnson calls, to invite the twins down South to compete for the title of Miss Black Pearl Preteen of America. Minni dreads the spotlight, but Keira assures her that together they’ll get through their stay with Grandmother Johnson. But when grandmother’s bias against Keira reveals itself, Keira pulls away from her twin. Minni has always believed that no matter how different she and Keira are, they share a deep bond of the heart. Now she’ll find out the truth.
A Girl, a Boy, and Three Robbers by Gail Gauthier
When Brandon has to go to Hannah’s house after school, she always gets to be the leader while he has to play her sidekick or some villain she’s out to destroy. Then the horrible Sunderland kids try to steal Hannah’s monster cat, Buttercup, and suddenly Brandon and Hannah have an exciting real-life mission on their hands. All the games of vampire hunter and enemy agent in the world couldn’t have prepared them for the task of saving Buttercup from the Sunderland “triplets” grubby clutches.
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford
It wasn’t as if Moxy hadn’t tried to do her summer reading. She and Stuart Little had been inseparable all summer, like best friends. If Stuart Little wasn’t in her backpack, it was in her lap . . . or holding up the coffee table . . . or getting splashed when Moxy went swimming. But now it’s the end of August—the day before fourth grade. And if Moxy doesn’t read all of Stuart Little immediately, there are going to be “consequences.” It may look like Moxy is doing nothing, but actually she is very busy with a zillion highly crucial things—like cleaning up her room (sort of) and training her dog and taking a much-needed rest in the hammock. Just look at the pictures her twin brother Mark takes to document it all—they’re scattered throughout—and you’ll see why it’s so difficult to make time for a book about a mouse. Of course our heroine does manage to finish her book, falling so in love with it that she finds herself reading under the covers with a flashlight, late into the night. Read book #2 (Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-You Notes) and #3 (Moxy Maxwell does not love practicing the piano: (but she does love being in recitals)!
Pranked by Katy Grant
“Dear Friend, I dreaded coming to camp Pine Haven and my first week here was the worst. While my best friend was sunbathing on the beach in Hawaii, I was stuck with outdoor showers, a rickety cabin, and only one friend — quiet, boring Melissa. Then the “Evil Twins” showed up. It turned out they’re totally cool and they wanted to be my friend! They’re not really evil — well, not to me, at least. They AREN’T too nice to Melissa. We started playing a few pranks and it’s kind of gotten out of control. I know I should put a stop to thinks, but I don’t want to lose my only friends here. I just hope that I don’t do anything I regret. Love, Kelly” Read the whole Summer Camp Secrets series!
Pinch Hit by Tim Green
Trevor and Sam look alike. But their lives couldn’t be more different. Trevor is a movie star, living the Hollywood life in a huge mansion with his own limo, pool, and bowling alley. There’s nothing he doesn’t have except the one thing he wants most: to play baseball for real. Sam is a regular kid who seems to have what it takes to make it to baseball’s Major Leagues. He’s determined to get the scouts at the big USC tournament to recognize his talent. And he really wants to see his dad, a struggling screenwriter, realize his own dream. When Sam signs up at Casting Central to make some extra money, he and Trevor come together on a movie set and see the chance to trade places—to pinch hit for each other and make everyone’s dreams come true. At first, it’s all good. But what happens when the boys take their game too far?
The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman
Coke and Pepsi McDonald didn’t want to jump off a cliff. They didn’t want to get hit by poisoned darts from blowguns either. And they certainly don’t want to get locked in their burning school, thrown into a pit at the top of a sand dune, or drowned in a vat of liquified SPAM. But what are you supposed to do when you’re being chased across the country by your insane health teacher and two guys in bowler hats who are trying to kill you? One thing’s for sure, it’ll be a snap for Coke and Pep to write their essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” Want to join in the fun? Fire up the old Google Maps and follow the McDonald twins as they get chased from the Pez museum to the largest ball of twine in the world. Also check out #2 (Never say genius) and #3 (You Only Die Twice)!
Horse Camp: a novel by Nicole Helget and Nate LeBoutillier
When their mom said she was sending twelve-year-old Percy and Penny and their little brother, Pauly, to stay with an uncle they’d never met, she tried to make it sound better by saying that Uncle Stretch’s farm was a horse camp. Well, the farm animals are actually chickens and pigs, and the only two horses are mean-tempered and not too keen on being ridden by kids. As Penny puts it, “This farm is like the eighteenth century, but way worse! The water has a rusty taste, and all the meat used to be animals on the farm.” If there is one thing the twins can agree on, it’s that between endless chores, no Internet or cell phones, and the prospect that their mom might have to stay in jail (even though some people say she’s a hero), horse camp is a big, fat joke. Will they ever have a real family again? Or is there a family for them right here? Nicole Helget and Nate LeBoutillier have written a funny novel about farms and family, animals and antagonism—and the paths kids take, sometimes while living in the same house, before coming home.
We Are Not Eaten by Yaks by An Accidental Adventure C. Alexander London
Eleven-year-old twins Oliver and Celia Navel live on the 4-1/2th floor of the Explorers Club with their father, Dr. Navel. Their mother, Dr. Navel, has been missing for years. So when an explorer shows up with a clue as to where his wife could be, Dr. Navel drags Oliver and Celia to Tibet to find her. Once there, the twins fall out of airplanes, encounter Yetis, travel through waterfalls, and end up in the Demon Fortress of the Warrior King where they-just possibly-might find their mother and save their father from the Poison Witches. Thing is, they would much rather be watching television. And if their trip doesn’t work out as planned, the twins could end up as slaves to Sir Edmund Thitheltorpe III, an evil explorer with breath that smells like boiled carrots, who has it in for the whole Navel family. Read book #2 (We Dine with Cannibals) and #3 (We Give a Squid a Wedgie).
Trading Places by Claudia Mills
Todd and Amy Davidson may be twins, but they’re complete opposites – Todd is organized and is the family “engineer,” while Amy is outgoing and has been dubbed the “poet.” So it would seem that for a fifth-grade economics project, Todd would come up with a master invention, and Amy would have a blast with her best friends as partners. To their surprise, Todd can’t think of a single idea, and Amy gets stuck working with the class crybaby. Then Todd begins writing poetry . . . But this is nothing compared to the switch their parents have made. Their father has been unemployed for months and their mother has started to work at a crafts store. Now there’s never enough food in the house, everybody is always on edge, and when Amy’s friends come over after school, they find Mr. Davidson, uncombed and unshaven, in his ratty old bathrobe. Will life ever return to normal?
Stirring It Up! by Diane Muldrow
To Molly and Amanda, cooking classes with their friends Shawn and Peichi seem like the key ingredient for a super summer. That is, until their arch-nemesis, Natasha, shows up. But when tragedy strikes a local family, the girls decide to put their cooking skills to good use and make some meals for them. The meals hit the spot, plus the girls feel good about helping out. Maybe they can turn their hobby into something more? Read the entire Dish series!
Rare Beasts by Charles Ogden
Twins Edgar and Ellen live alone — their parents disappeared years ago, and who can blame them? — in the quaint, little town of Nod’s Limbs, in a grim, gray house overlooking the cemetery and the junkyard. They spend their days avoiding Heimertz, the mysterious accordion-playing caretaker; pestering Pet, a hairy, one-eyed creature of indeterminate species and gender; and wreaking havoc on the hapless citizens of Nod’s Limbs. But wreaking havoc can incur expenses, so the twins come up with a unique fund-raising scheme: They’ll nab the pets of Nod’s Limbs and transform them into exotic animals they can sell for big bucks. Not a bad plan, if one of the purloined pets wasn’t a lethargic python with a raging appetite! Check out the whole series about Edgar & Ellen!
Almost Identical by Lin Oliver
Identical twins Sammie and Charlie are starting out seventh grade at a brand-new school. As they make new friends, and join different clubs, the sisters (and once inseparable best friends) start to grow further and further apart. Told from Sammie’s point of view, this moving yet funny story will be gobbled up by middle-school girls! Check out book #2 (Two-Faced) and #3 (Double-Crossed, coming in MARCH).
Sister of the Quints by Stella Pevsner
It’s quite believable that an eighth grader, the stepsister of toddler quintuplets, would have trouble getting her father and stepmother’s attention. Natalie wants to be known for herself, not just for her troublesome siblings. She wants to get to know a new boy in town and to excel in soccer, but both goals are waylaid by her ongoing duties at home. And she’s still adjusting to her real mother’s move from Chicago to Colorado. After the news media makes a big deal of the quints’ first birthdays, Natalie’s family starts getting threatening phone calls. One of the quints disappears. She is found, but not before Natalie starts thinking of herself and each sibling as individuals. Read the next story in the series I’m Emma: I’m a Quint.
The One Left Behind by Willo Davis Roberts
For the first time in her eleven years, Mandy is alone. Through a series of miscommunications, her entire family has left her by herself in their big house on Lake Michigan. But it’s the absence of her twin sister, Angel, that she feels the most. One year ago Angel died, and Mandy’s life has been at a standstill ever since. While the rest of her family has moved on, Mandy clings to the pain of her loss. At first Mandy is almost relieved to have the time to herself. But quickly the loneliness consumes her — until she stumbles upon two boys, one her age, the other not yet two, who are also on their own. Running away from men who wish to do them harm, the boys turn to Mandy for help. But what can she do for these boys when she can barely take care of herself? If only Angel were here, she would know what to do.
Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli
This is a story about me, Lily. And me, Jake. We’re twins and we’re exactly alike. Not exactly! Whatever. This is a book we wrote about the summer we turned eleven and Jake ditched me. Please. I just started hanging out with some guys in the neighborhood. Right. So anyway, this is a book about goobers and supergoobers bullies clubhouses true friends things getting built and wrecked and rebuilt and about figuring out who we are. We wrote this together (sort of) so you’ll get to see both sides of our story. But you’ll probably agree with my side. You always have to have the last word, don’t you? Yes!
The Sister Switch by Jane B. Mason & Sarah Hines Stephens
Twins Andie and Caitlin are best friends but they couldn’t be more different. Andie loves sports and hanging out with her friends — Caitlin is passionate about music and loves learning at school. Now that junior high is starting, the girls will finally get a chance to pave their own way. They can’t wait! But when Caitlin discovers she’ll have to pass a fitness test or spend every day after school doing gym, she fears her year is ruined before it even begins. Check out the whole Candy Apple Books series!
Desperate Measures by Laura Summers
Vicky has always felt responsible for her mentally disabled twin sister, Rhianna, and their feisty little brother, Jamie. So when the foster care system threatens to split them up, they all run away together, heading for a distant relative’s home. After a difficult journey, they arrive-only to find strangers living there. With nowhere else to go, they hide in a cave, and must survive by their wits. By the end of their adventure, Vicky is surprised to find that the sister she thought she was protecting is the one who saves her.
Booklist by Julie G!
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Up next: Twins in Fantasy!