Review Blog

Dec 15 2015

The Tapper Twins go to war (with each other) by Geoff Rodkey

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Orion Children's Books, 2015. ISBN 9781444014983
Recommended 8-12 years. For readers looking for something a bit different in form and construction than the usual narrative or recount, the first of the Tapper Twins books combines the voices of both twins in an oral history of their war. Included are examples of text messages, photos, annotations and digital images from an imaginary computer game, reminiscent of Minecraft, and chat logs from another imaginary social networking site.
Whilst the record of the fight between the siblings is funny and definitely entertaining, the issue of cyberbulling is seriously portrayed. The moral of this story is clearly stated by one of the characters 'mindless destruction and revenge don't solve anything' and 'karma exists' so what you do has often unexpected consequences.
The Tapper Twins, Reese and Claudia live in New York and attend a private school. According to Claudia the war began when Reese embarrassed her in the cafeteria front of the whole sixth grade. Reese says it started when Claudia ate his last toaster pastry in the kitchen at home. Whatever the truth Claudia is determined to seek revenge and escalates hostilities, putting a fish in his backpack which everyone but Reese notices.
Reese retaliates with smelly cheese which is quickly discovered by Claudia and returned. When Reese and his friend upload a video of Claudia singing to social networking site Clickchat and she becomes a victim of cyberbulling, the war has reached a whole new level on Claudia's part despite Reese deleting the video and apologising. When Claudia decides to defeat Reese in his favourite computer game on MetaWorld, Amigo Planet, it is a battle to the death. Whilst a truce is eventually called the consequences of the war are more wide ranging than either Claudia or Reese expected.
An amusing and salutary lesson for those inclined to a bit of cyber revenge in any form.
Sue Keane

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