October 06, 2020
Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends. They participate in the same clubs, enjoy the same foods, and are partners on all their school projects. But just before the girls start sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran -- a girl who wants to join the chorus, run for class president, and dress in fashionable outfits that set her apart from Maureen. A girl who seems happy to share only two classes with her sister!
Maureen and Francine are growing apart and there's nothing Maureen can do to stop it. Are sisters really forever? Or will middle school change things for good?
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
This is a graphic novel with twins that has bright, exuberant illustrations and has Black main characters. This will be automatically popular in my library. It also has great parents and a fun older half brother (who is a first grade teacher!), lots of friend drama, and a little bit of possible romance. I'm not normally a fan of election stories (my school has never had elections in my 20+ years there), but twins running against each other is certainly a great twist. This is also definitely #ownvoice-- not only is Mr. Johnson a twin, but he has twin daughters!
Depending on where they live, readers might need a little more explanation about the Cadet Corps; I looked it up, and this is a real thing. Never heard of this attempt to militarize middle school students before, and am curious as to why and how these groups are in middle schools. It looks like an organization that means to have a positive impact with leadership and education, but... militarization. I wanted to know more.
This will be much in demand by readers of realistic fiction graphic novels like those by Jennifer Holm, Victoria Jamieson, and Vera Brosgol.
I would LOVE to see Johnson and Wright follow this up with more stories like this. If the characters in the future are not quite as anxious about middle school, that would be fine! Maybe throw in some sports.
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