And now, the last of our Double Trouble booklists. Humor, Time Travel and Science Fiction featuring twins. (And there is one set of triplets in one of these series…I guess they’re not all in the Realistic category.) Ready? Let’s go!
* * *
Double (or Triple!) the Trouble Family Stories:
Twins, Triplets, Quadruplets…
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
Abandoned by their ill-humored parents to the care of an odious nanny, Tim, the twins, Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and their sister, Jane, attempt to fulfill their roles as good oldfashioned children. Following the models set in lauded tales from A Christmas Carol to Mary Poppins, the four Willoughbys hope to attain their proscribed happy ending too, or at least a satisfyingly maudlin one. However, it is an unquestionably ruthless act that sets in motion the transformations that lead to their salvation and to happy endings for not only the four children, but their nanny, an abandoned baby, a candy magnate, and his long-lost son too. Replete with a tongue-in-cheek glossary and bibliography, this hilarious and decidedly old-fashioned parody pays playful homage to classic works of children’s literature.
The Boy Who Howled by Timothy Power
As far back as he can remember, Callum has been living in the wild as the furless mascot of a wolf pack. But when his pack sends him back to live with his own kind, fitting in is quite a challenge. He doesn’t remember English well and introduces himself as “Clam.” Then when he tries to impress an Alpha boy in school by stealing his food, people seem offended! Can Callum find a way to make humans his pack? This hilarious and inventive story will have readers rooting for Callum.
Seriously, Norman! by Chris Raschka
Now that the whole thing is over (and we all survived!), I can tell you what happened. Picture this for a second. Rock wall six inches on my left. Sheer cliff hundreds of feet down on my right, my best friend Norman in front of me, mumbling something, and my mom behind me saying, “Step, step, step.” EEEEEEYAAAAAH! Next time my mom bugs me about sitting in front of the computer too much, I’m going to say, “Thanks, I prefer it where the near-death experiences are virtual!” No, seriously, this story is about Norman and about how he grows and learns stuff. Uses his imagination. Observes things. Like his dad, who is so devoted to money! Like how his dad is mixed up with weird creeps of the underworld. All over the world! Why, why are grown-ups so insane? That’s exactly the question that Norman, Anna and Emma (the twins), and I, Leonard, try to answer. And with the help of Norman’s new tutor, Balthazar Birdsong (also fairly nuts), we nearly do!
Unlucky Charms by Adam Rex
Last sighted with twins Erno and Emily en route to England, Scott is reportedly searching for a rift in the space-time continuum so that he might save the queen and convince the fairy court to stop their so-called invasion.
Kids today, right? Too many wizard books, not enough fresh air, if you want Goodco Cereal Company’s opinion. But Goodco execs are not angry. They only to see Scott get the help he needs before he hurts himself. Or gets hurt. Sightings of Scott with a two-foot-tall leprechaun named Mick are of course ridiculous and should be reported immediately to Goodco.
Scott, Erno and Emily must save the world from the diabolical schemes of the evil breakfast cereal company which has been luring magical creatures to our world through a rift in the space-time continuum. Also read Cold Cereal, the first book about Scott’s quest to save the world!
The Butler Gets a Break: a Bellweather Tale by Kristin Clark Venuti
All is (temporarily) peaceful in the village of Eel-Smack-by-the-Bay. An art heist has been averted, an albino alligator refuge established, and a family of refugee circus performers, gainfully employed. After much thought (and a tell-all memoir) Tristan Benway has decided to remain in the employ of the Bellweather family, and the children, especially, have tried to mend their ways. But old habits die hard, and when the triplets – Brick, Spike, and Sassy – experiment in negative space on the lighthouse stairs, Benway ends up in the hospital with a broken leg, and the Bellweathers are left without a butler. The family’s efforts to find an interim servant fail miserably. Their troubles mount as they become mixed-up with a band of roving Gypsies, paleontological discoveries gone awry, and encounters with rare attack squirrels. But letting the recuperating Benway know of their plight is not an option. As the Bellweathers spin increasingly amazing stories of their “new servant” at Benway’s bedside, the poor butler starts to wonder if he was ever needed…
Also try Leaving the Bellweathers!
The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner
Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let’s say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometimes confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins—adults—named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, I said kidnapped. Wouldn’t it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Luckily for you, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn’t?!). Coming Soon book 2: The Templeton Twins Make a Scene!
* * *
Double (or Triple!) the Trouble Family Stories:
Twins, Triplets, Quadruplets…
SCIENCE FICTION and TIME TRAVEL
The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
Miri is the non-twin child in a family with two sets of them–older brothers and younger sisters. The family has just moved to an old farmhouse in a new town, where the only good thing seems to be Miri’s ten-sided attic bedroom. But when Miri gets sent to her room after accidentally bashing her big brother on the head with a shovel, she finds herself in the same room . . . only not quite. Without meaning to, she has found a way to travel back in time to 1935 where she discovers Molly, a girl her own age very much in need of a loving family. A highly satisfying classic-in-the-making full of spine-tingling moments, this is a delightful time-travel novel for the whole family.
The Roar by Emma Clayton
Mika lives in future London, behind The Wall: Solid concrete topped with high-voltage razor wire and guarded by a battalion of Ghengis Borgs, it was built to keep out the animals, because animals carry the plague. Or so Mika’s been told. But ever since Ellie vanished a year ago, Mika’s suspected his world may be built on secrets–and lies. When a mysterious organization starts recruiting mutant kids to compete in violent virtual reality games, Mika takes the chance to search for his twin sister–and the truth. Check out the sequel The Whisper!
Angel of the Battlefield by Ann Hood
While exploring The Treasure Chest, Felix and Maisie are transported to a Massachusetts farm in 1836. Disappointed that they have not landed in their beloved New York City, they wonder why they were brought to Massachusetts to meet a young girl named Clara Barton. Perhaps Clara has a message for the twins? Or maybe they have one for her? Read the entire The Treasure Chest series!
Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle
Sandy and Dennys have always been the normal, run-of-the-mill ones in the extraodinary Murry family. They garden, make an occasional A in school, and play baseball. Nothing especially interesting has happened to the twins until they accidentally interrupt their father’s experiment. Then the two boys are thrown across time and space. They find themselves alone in the desert, where, if they believe in unicorns, they can find unicorns, and whether they believe or not, mammoths and manticores will find them. The twins are rescued by Japheth, a man from the nearby oasis, but before he can bring them to safety, Dennys gets lost. Each boy is quickly embroiled in the conflicts of this time and place, whose populations includes winged seraphim, a few stray mythic beasts, perilous and beautiful nephilim, and small, long lived humans who consider Sandy and Dennys giants. The boys find they have more to do in the oasis than simply getting themselves home–they have to reunite an estranged father and son, but it won’t be easy, especially when the son is named Noah and he’s about to start building a boat in the desert. This is book four in the series; read the whole Time Quintet series, which starts with the award-winning A Wrinkle in Time!
The Chronal Engine by Greg Leitich Smith
When Max, Kyle, and Emma are sent to live with their reclusive grandfather, they think he’s crazy, especially when he tells them about his time machine. But after Emma is kidnapped at the exact time that her grandfather predicted, Max and Kyle are forced to believe his eccentric stories—even the one about the Chronal Engine in the basement. Now, to save Emma, Max, Kyle, and their new friend Petra must pile into a VW Bug, and use the Chronal Engine to take the road trip of a lifetime—right back to the Cretaceous period. With dangers all around, the teens find themselves dodging car-crushing herbivores in addition to the terrifying T. rex. In this ancient environment, can three contemporary teens hunt down a kidnapper, forage for food, and survive long enough to return home?
The Secret of ROVER by Rachel Wildavsky
The Secret of Rover follows the clever and resourceful twins Katie and David as they race across country in their attempt to outwit an international team of insurgents who hold their parents and baby sister captive in a foreign land. Held hostage because they invented a spy technology called Rover that can locate anyone in the world, Katie and David’s parents are in grave danger. Now, it’s up to Katie and David to rescue them. But first they must find their reclusive uncle, whom they have never met—the only person they know who can help them.
Booklist by Julie G!
* * *
And we’ve now reached the end of our multiples madness! If you enjoyed this booklist, let us know! And if you have any ideas for future booklists, let us know that too!