by Johnson, Varian; Wright, Shannon (ILT)

Featuring graphic art by the illustrator of Edwidge Danticat's My Mommy Medicine, a series debut by the Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author of The Parker Inheritance finds twins Maureen and Francine distinguishing themselves for the first time by pursing separate interests at the beginning of the sixth grade. Simultaneous and eBook. Illustrations.

Varian Johnson is the author of several novels for children and young adults, including The Parker Inheritance, for which he won a Coretta Scott King Honor award; The Great Greene Heist, which was an ALA Notable Children's Book, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014, and a Texas Library Association Lone Star List selection; and To Catch a Cheat, another Jackson Greene adventure and a Kids' Indie Next List pick. He lives with his family near Austin, Texas. You can find him online at

Shannon Wright is an illustrator and cartoonist based in Richmond, Virginia. She has illustrated two picture books, My Mommy Medicine by Edwidge Danticat and I'm Gonna Push Through by Jasmyn Wright. She also provided the cover art for Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson, and Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez. Shannon graduated with a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she co-teaches a comics course during the summer. To learn more, visit her online at

*Starred Review* Maureen is a straight-A student lacking in self-confidence. Her identical twin, Francine, is outgoing and popular, though she sometimes feels like "the dumb one." They've always been inseperable-until sixth grade. Francine begins to branch off socially, catching Maureen off guard, and as the tension between them builds-thanks to a series of miscommunications and unveiled secrets-their insecurities flare, and they end up running against each other for student-council president. In their graphic-novel debuts, Johnson and Wright have crafted a pitch-perfect story about the growing pains of middle school from a sibling perspective, and it's more than just a rivalry story. Maureen and Francine's family life is established with such a strong, healthy dynamic that the girls' ensuing competition is laden with complex feelings of betrayal and guilt, as they both struggle with how to be more individual while still supporting one another. Their journeys are largely internal, but Wright's artwork, crisp and colorful, does a masterful job of tracking the twins' emotional arcs through expressive composition, and Johnson's impeccable pacing keeps things moving while still making room for rich development. In the end, only one sister can win the election, but they both succeed, thanks to each other's support. A beautiful reflection on sisterhood and coming of age that belongs in every collection. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Sixth grade presents new challenges for the Carter twins. Itâ??s the first day of school, and African American identical twins Maureen and Francine Carter are having mixed feelings. Maureen is nervous about middle school: She has a new confusing schedule, cadet corps, and, worst of all, classes without Francine. She worries that middle school will swallow her alive. Francine, however, is looking forward to everything sixth grade can offer. She canâ??t wait to be in new surroundings, try new classes, and grab new opportunities to shine, like joining the student council race. Outgoing Francine is all set to start campaigning, but when Maureen decides to run as well, it threatens to tear the two apart. As Francine pushes to stand out, Maureen yearns to fit in, and neither sees eye to eye. Johnson, in his first graphic novel, encapsulates the rocky transition from the comfort of elementary school to the new and sometimes-scary world of middle school. The sibling bond is palpable and precious as each conflict and triumph pushes them apart or pulls them together. Wrightâ??s illustrations fill the pages with vibrancy and emotion. The diverse student body, careful touches in the Carter home, and background elements in the mall scenes stand out for their warmth, humor, and realism. The small details that differentiate Maureen and Francine, while maintaining their mirrored features, are delightful. A touching, relatable story of identity, sisterhood, and friendship. (Graphic fiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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