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Twins

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Coretta Scott King Honor author Varian Johnson teams up with rising cartoonist Shannon Wright for a delightful middle-grade graphic novel! 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 Coretta Scott King Honor author Varian Johnson teams up with rising cartoonist Shannon Wright for a delightful middle-grade graphic novel! 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?


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Coretta Scott King Honor author Varian Johnson teams up with rising cartoonist Shannon Wright for a delightful middle-grade graphic novel! 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 Coretta Scott King Honor author Varian Johnson teams up with rising cartoonist Shannon Wright for a delightful middle-grade graphic novel! 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?

30 review for Twins

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alice Oseman

    I was lucky enough to be on a panel with Varian and Shannon earlier this year so I was very excited to read this! Such a fun and heart-warming graphic novel about two twins navigating middle school and forming their own identities, figuring out how to be individuals and not just 'twins'. The story spotlights young Black teens not only in its two protagonists but also in its supporting cast, which is really wonderful to see and something MG/YA graphic novels need more of! I was lucky enough to be on a panel with Varian and Shannon earlier this year so I was very excited to read this! Such a fun and heart-warming graphic novel about two twins navigating middle school and forming their own identities, figuring out how to be individuals and not just 'twins'. The story spotlights young Black teens not only in its two protagonists but also in its supporting cast, which is really wonderful to see and something MG/YA graphic novels need more of!

  2. 4 out of 5

    mindful.librarian ☀️

    If you know a 3rd - 6th grader who loves realistic fiction graphic novels, THIS is the book they need this year ❤️ one of my favorites ever!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lorie Barber

    Full disclosure: I’m a twin. Fuller disclosure: that’s not why I bought this book. I’ve read everything Varian Johnson has written, from The Great Greene Heist to The Parker Inheritance. And in every book Varian Johnson has written, I have discovered deeply developed characters, surprising plots and problems, and relatable stories to which all kids can relate. But most of all, I’ve found Black characters who are in stories not because they’re Black, but because it’s who they are. The normalizati Full disclosure: I’m a twin. Fuller disclosure: that’s not why I bought this book. I’ve read everything Varian Johnson has written, from The Great Greene Heist to The Parker Inheritance. And in every book Varian Johnson has written, I have discovered deeply developed characters, surprising plots and problems, and relatable stories to which all kids can relate. But most of all, I’ve found Black characters who are in stories not because they’re Black, but because it’s who they are. The normalization of characters of color in kidlit *not* experiencing oppression but simply being their glorious selves is a JOY to read. Twins is no exception. Perhaps it’s exceptional because it is Johnson’s first foray into the land of graphic novels, and his collaboration with illustrator Shannon Wright is sublime. Maureen and Francine shared everything until sixth grade until friendships and different interests started pulling them in different directions. Once they both decide to go for the same prize, things spiral quickly out of control and their sisterhood bond becomes jeopardized. I related so much to this story because I’m a girl, I’ve been through middle school, and I have a sister. I loved the full circle plot and how Maureen and Fran eventually learn that they can still be close while having different interests. In short, it’s a story all kids can relate to.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    A DELIGHTFUL story about sisters. Maureen and Francine discover how to differentiate from one another, shakily at first, and that even though they're twins and best friends, there's always more to learn and understand about one another. A DELIGHTFUL story about sisters. Maureen and Francine discover how to differentiate from one another, shakily at first, and that even though they're twins and best friends, there's always more to learn and understand about one another.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Coming into this, I was a bit burned out on twin sister stories where one is the introvert and the other is the social butterfly having read Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga just last week and yesterday. So I was slow to warm up to Twins, but the characters and solid writing and art of this middle school drama won me over. As in Fangirl, a rift opens up between twin sisters when the outgoing one wants more independence, leaving the shy one to flounder on her own as she trie Coming into this, I was a bit burned out on twin sister stories where one is the introvert and the other is the social butterfly having read Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga just last week and yesterday. So I was slow to warm up to Twins, but the characters and solid writing and art of this middle school drama won me over. As in Fangirl, a rift opens up between twin sisters when the outgoing one wants more independence, leaving the shy one to flounder on her own as she tries to figure out who she is without her twin/crutch. A marching drill class (Like ROTC for middle school as an alternative to PE; is this really a thing?) and a class election provide the prompting she needs to break out of her shell. Unlike Fangirl the story moves along quickly and wraps up in half the pages (or a quarter of the manga series). I would like to see a sequel or something else from the same team.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Francine and Maureen feel differently about starting middle school; Francine is reinventing herself, going by "Fran"and rocking a hat an funky t shirt on the first day. Maureen is scared and misses the security of elementary school, where she was the top student in the fifth grade. Maureen is also upset that she has Cadet Corps instead of gym, like Francine does, and is assigned a lunch where she doesn't know anyone. When Maureen finds out why she and her sister g E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Francine and Maureen feel differently about starting middle school; Francine is reinventing herself, going by "Fran"and rocking a hat an funky t shirt on the first day. Maureen is scared and misses the security of elementary school, where she was the top student in the fifth grade. Maureen is also upset that she has Cadet Corps instead of gym, like Francine does, and is assigned a lunch where she doesn't know anyone. When Maureen finds out why she and her sister got the schedules they did, she is angry at her parents, and then at her sister, whom she feels she is losing. With the changes in Fran, the friend group the two were in also feels off. Maureen is also struggling in Cadet Corps, and isn't good at drills. She approaches the teacher to ask about extra credit, and is told that she might receive some if she runs for a class office. She decides to run for president... and so has Francine. This widens the rift in the sister's relationship, and even leads to Maureen moving out into her older half brother's room so that the sisters can plan their campaigns in private. Both girls come up with good plans, but Maureen doesn't feel as confident as Francine does. When someone vandalizes Maureen's campaign poster with comments that reveal a secret only Francine knows, Maureen finally confronts her sister, but finds out that her twin's confidence isn't as unshakable as she thinks. The parents are ready to make Francine drop out of the campaign, but Maureen wants her to stay in so that she will know which sister could win on her own merits. Which sister will it be? Strengths: 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+ yesrs 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! Weaknesses: My students might need a little more explanation about the Cadet Corps; I looked it up, and this, alarmingly, 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. What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    Finding myself with an early copy of one of the most anticipated middle grade books of the fall was a dream come true in itself, but reading it & falling in love with this sister duo via graphic novel form was a huge bonus. Preorder TWINS by @varianjohnson & @shannondrewthis- out 10.06.20!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lee

    I'm predicting that this book will not stay on my shelves! The competition between the twin sisters, the family dynamics, the middle school fears...it is all very relatable. I'm predicting that this book will not stay on my shelves! The competition between the twin sisters, the family dynamics, the middle school fears...it is all very relatable.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Burnap

    Middle is school is terrifying enough, but without your twin sister by your side? Great story for learning about the pitfalls and rewards from gaining independence from your family.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Afoma Umesi

    Varian Johnson’s new graphic novel is simply a delight! I loved following Maureen and Francine — and am really hoping we get a few more books about them. I would love to follow them all the way to high school! Twins is a sensitive look at the search for identity especially common for identical twins who want to be their own person while still preserving their unbreakable bond with their closest relative and friend. This book also highlights common middle school struggles, crushes, and navigating Varian Johnson’s new graphic novel is simply a delight! I loved following Maureen and Francine — and am really hoping we get a few more books about them. I would love to follow them all the way to high school! Twins is a sensitive look at the search for identity especially common for identical twins who want to be their own person while still preserving their unbreakable bond with their closest relative and friend. This book also highlights common middle school struggles, crushes, and navigating life in a blended family, but the main theme is the joy of sisterhood. I would highly recommend it to graphic novel lovers and rookies alike — it reads beautifully on an iPad too! Read my full review on my blog.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    hanks to @scholasticinc for the free ARC to share with #kidlitexchange ! This new graphic novel by @mrvarianjohnson comes out 10/6! . . . It's hard to differentiate yourself from your siblings, but even harder when that sibling is your identical twin. Maureen and Francine Carter have always been twins and best friends, but now that middle school is starting, Fran is pulling away from her sister by dressing differently, taking different classes, and going by a new hip name. Maureen is confused -- why hanks to @scholasticinc for the free ARC to share with #kidlitexchange ! This new graphic novel by @mrvarianjohnson comes out 10/6! . . . It's hard to differentiate yourself from your siblings, but even harder when that sibling is your identical twin. Maureen and Francine Carter have always been twins and best friends, but now that middle school is starting, Fran is pulling away from her sister by dressing differently, taking different classes, and going by a new hip name. Maureen is confused -- why does Fran not want to be known as the Carter twins anymore? When Fran announces she's running for class president, Maureen decides to run for, as well...for the same position. Suddenly the sisters aren't just pulling apart, but actively fighting each other at home and school. . . . This is a fabulous, fun graphic novel that addresses sibling relationships, the special bond that twins have, as well as issues around identity and self confidence. Varian Johnson writes from experience -- he is a twin, too! I'm excited to see that this will be a series; I can see lots of my students loving it. 🤩 . . . #middleschoollibrarian #middleschoollibrary #library #librarian #futurereadylibs #iteachlibrary #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #librariesofinstagram #librariansofinstagram #librariesfollowlibraries #librarylife #librarianlife #schoollibrarian #middlegrade #middlegradebooks #iteach #librarylove #booksbooksbooks #amreading #bibliophile #schoollibrariansrock #bookreview #bookrecommendation #igreads #malibrary #msla #mediaspecialist

  12. 5 out of 5

    Connie T.

    When the twins start middle school, Fran see it as an opportunity to forge her own identity, separate from Maureen. But this makes Maureen feel confused and abandoned. Then student council elections add to the friction, bringing things to a head. Harsh words are exchanged but they ultimately help clear the air and bring about understanding. In the end, the girls respect each other more and are confident enough to explore their identities as distinct individuals. Being a twin himself, Varian Johns When the twins start middle school, Fran see it as an opportunity to forge her own identity, separate from Maureen. But this makes Maureen feel confused and abandoned. Then student council elections add to the friction, bringing things to a head. Harsh words are exchanged but they ultimately help clear the air and bring about understanding. In the end, the girls respect each other more and are confident enough to explore their identities as distinct individuals. Being a twin himself, Varian Johnson lends an authentic voice to this story. It's interesting that he chose to tell it from a female point of view. At one point in the story, Maureen and her friends experience some racism while at the mall. It's handled in an appropriate, no-nonsense way and its inclusion adds a sense of depth and realism to the story. Multicultural characters throughout, including some strong female characters. I will definitely be reading more from this author.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hilda

    This comic was everything I didn't even know I needed. I know I say this a lot, but it’s true. I was expecting something completely different. I was expecting a silly battle between twins. I got so much more. It was a coming of age story. It was a web of family secrets! Buahahaha!! Not that dramatic. They were all white lies. All told to “protect” the other family member. But at the end of the day any secret no matter how well intentioned is still a secret and hurts. It was wholesome and sweet. This comic was everything I didn't even know I needed. I know I say this a lot, but it’s true. I was expecting something completely different. I was expecting a silly battle between twins. I got so much more. It was a coming of age story. It was a web of family secrets! Buahahaha!! Not that dramatic. They were all white lies. All told to “protect” the other family member. But at the end of the day any secret no matter how well intentioned is still a secret and hurts. It was wholesome and sweet. It also talked about some strong middle school problems like, who do you sit with during lunch? Little small things that make middle school a scary emotional place. I also loved the teachers. I can’t wait for my students to read it. Highly recommend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)

    4 stars. I really enjoyed this. The artwork is fantastic and I really liked the plot of twin sisters drifting apart. Maureen and Francine felt real. They were bratty and selfish but also loving and compassionate. I do wish that the story had been split between Maureen and Francine as I would’ve loved to see how everything was going from Francine’s point of view. The parents were great, especially the dad. He was pretty funny. Everything wrapped up really quickly but it was nice. This was such a 4 stars. I really enjoyed this. The artwork is fantastic and I really liked the plot of twin sisters drifting apart. Maureen and Francine felt real. They were bratty and selfish but also loving and compassionate. I do wish that the story had been split between Maureen and Francine as I would’ve loved to see how everything was going from Francine’s point of view. The parents were great, especially the dad. He was pretty funny. Everything wrapped up really quickly but it was nice. This was such a cute read and I had so much fun while reading it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather Lander

    Lucy grabbed this from me before I had the chance to read it. She sat and read the whole thing in a day (she's 7), we couldn't pull her away. She was excited to talk to me about it. I read it a couple of days later. When she saw me reading it she told me, "don't take that back yet because I want to read it again". It was awesome. Lucy grabbed this from me before I had the chance to read it. She sat and read the whole thing in a day (she's 7), we couldn't pull her away. She was excited to talk to me about it. I read it a couple of days later. When she saw me reading it she told me, "don't take that back yet because I want to read it again". It was awesome.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tara Ethridge

    Definitely a 5-star graphic novel that I know will be hugely popular in our school. Francine and Maureen have always done everything together as twins, but when they enter middle school, they don't have all their classes together and Francine (who now wants to be called Fran) is pulling away. Their differences feel greater as they are growing older. So much about this book is so incredibly poignant, real and beautiful. Competition, crushes, insecurity, and their parents were great supporting cha Definitely a 5-star graphic novel that I know will be hugely popular in our school. Francine and Maureen have always done everything together as twins, but when they enter middle school, they don't have all their classes together and Francine (who now wants to be called Fran) is pulling away. Their differences feel greater as they are growing older. So much about this book is so incredibly poignant, real and beautiful. Competition, crushes, insecurity, and their parents were great supporting characters as well. Supportive, tough, and parents who mean well but sometimes make mistakes. I can't say enough about this book. Glad I got the chance to read it because I know it won't be on the shelves for long ever again.

  17. 5 out of 5

    iz

    so cute! the art is a perfect fit for the story

  18. 5 out of 5

    Akoss

    I received a copy of this book from the @Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. TWINS Releasing 10/6/20 Twins Maureen and Francine always did everything together. But as they start six grade Francine begins showing signs of wanting to be her own self. Unsure of how to navigate this change Maureen makes decisions of her own that drive the sisters further apart. The desire to know how the twins work through their differences and disagreements kept me glued to I received a copy of this book from the @Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. TWINS Releasing 10/6/20 Twins Maureen and Francine always did everything together. But as they start six grade Francine begins showing signs of wanting to be her own self. Unsure of how to navigate this change Maureen makes decisions of her own that drive the sisters further apart. The desire to know how the twins work through their differences and disagreements kept me glued to the pages and I couldn’t read fast enough. I was so worried and sad watching them go through emotions like betrayal, anger, disbelief etc… I just wanted things to get better already. And when they did? I almost cried. Of course everything has changed but the new pieces fell exactly where they belonged. I absolutely recommend this book to parents and educators out there. It was an emotional rollercoaster.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maeve

    Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends...but when they start middle school, Francine doesn't only want to be known as one of the "Carter twins". As each girl tries to navigate middle school and find their own hobbies and friends, they have some bumps in their friendship. However, their relationship becomes even more strained when they both run for class president. Both girls need to find the confidence they need to run, and the empathy and love to support one another. A cute story Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends...but when they start middle school, Francine doesn't only want to be known as one of the "Carter twins". As each girl tries to navigate middle school and find their own hobbies and friends, they have some bumps in their friendship. However, their relationship becomes even more strained when they both run for class president. Both girls need to find the confidence they need to run, and the empathy and love to support one another. A cute story about the competition that exists between siblings...but it also touches on many experiences new middle schoolers have. I thought it was incredibly important that throughout the story (even if Maureen and Francine were having fights) the family was always supportive and loving. It's almost like a younger version of The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I got the ARC for this book at the North Texas Teen Book Festival, one of the last events I attended before social distancing took effect. Honestly, I got the book for three reasons. 1 - The publisher was giving away free copies. 2 - I've met Varian Johnson and liked him. 3 - I've had identical twins in the (same) classroom before; I may have them again and I want books for them to connect to. To my great delight, I loved the book. Not all of the book was inked and colored in but I was still draw I got the ARC for this book at the North Texas Teen Book Festival, one of the last events I attended before social distancing took effect. Honestly, I got the book for three reasons. 1 - The publisher was giving away free copies. 2 - I've met Varian Johnson and liked him. 3 - I've had identical twins in the (same) classroom before; I may have them again and I want books for them to connect to. To my great delight, I loved the book. Not all of the book was inked and colored in but I was still drawn in to the story. My students will love this story! I'm preordering a hardcover of this book for my classroom library.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Twin sisters Maureen and Francine are going into sixth grade, and that's not the only thing that's new-- Francine has decided to go by Fran, and wants to distance herself from Maureen at school to be recognized as an individual person, apart from being a twin. This is tough for shy Maureen, who's nervous enough already about middle school! When they end up campaigning against each other for class president, the rift between them becomes bigger than they ever thought possible. Family feuds, chang Twin sisters Maureen and Francine are going into sixth grade, and that's not the only thing that's new-- Francine has decided to go by Fran, and wants to distance herself from Maureen at school to be recognized as an individual person, apart from being a twin. This is tough for shy Maureen, who's nervous enough already about middle school! When they end up campaigning against each other for class president, the rift between them becomes bigger than they ever thought possible. Family feuds, changing friendships, and growing up are all hard-- Twins is a wonderful story that adds humor and confidence to the mix! Fans of Reina Telgemeier and Svetlana Chmakova will adore this graphic novel.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Hannah H

    Received an ARC so I could share it with fellow staff that work with tweens at my library. This is a really fun book! The illustrations are enjoyable and I fell like I got to know Maureen and Francine really well. Twins feels different enough from other MG graphic novels school stories about growing up, fitting in, etc. that it isn't repetitive and brings something new to the genre. It's also great to see authentic diversity in its characters. Received an ARC so I could share it with fellow staff that work with tweens at my library. This is a really fun book! The illustrations are enjoyable and I fell like I got to know Maureen and Francine really well. Twins feels different enough from other MG graphic novels school stories about growing up, fitting in, etc. that it isn't repetitive and brings something new to the genre. It's also great to see authentic diversity in its characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cathlin

    Got this arc at NTTBF and can't wait to get back time school, so I can share it with my students. I realistic look into how kids grow and change, seeking an identity of their own along with the trials and tribulations of sibling rivalry and what its like to be a twin. Got this arc at NTTBF and can't wait to get back time school, so I can share it with my students. I realistic look into how kids grow and change, seeking an identity of their own along with the trials and tribulations of sibling rivalry and what its like to be a twin.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Suzan Kadri

    Made me emotional LOL

  25. 5 out of 5

    Misti

    Maureen and Francine have shared pretty much everything for all of their lives, but this year Francine – Fran – is pulling away, going by a new nickname and pursuing different interests. In a fit of pique, Maureen decides to run for class president – the same position that Fran has been planning to pursue for months. When the competition turns ugly, will the feuding sisters go too far? This is a fun middle-grade graphic novel that will appeal to fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jerry Craft. The warm Maureen and Francine have shared pretty much everything for all of their lives, but this year Francine – Fran – is pulling away, going by a new nickname and pursuing different interests. In a fit of pique, Maureen decides to run for class president – the same position that Fran has been planning to pursue for months. When the competition turns ugly, will the feuding sisters go too far? This is a fun middle-grade graphic novel that will appeal to fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jerry Craft. The warm family relationships at the heart of the story and the stresses and strains of beginning middle school will ring true for many young readers.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Juli Anna

    I'm generally a hard sell on modern realist fiction for kids, including graphic novels. But this book is exceptional. Johnson's characters are flawed, but nuanced, including subtle treatments of supporting characters. I love simple stories that are pared right down to the emotional crux, and this is certainly one--there aren't too many side plots or distractions from this masterful story of sibling growth, separation, and connection. I'm generally a hard sell on modern realist fiction for kids, including graphic novels. But this book is exceptional. Johnson's characters are flawed, but nuanced, including subtle treatments of supporting characters. I love simple stories that are pared right down to the emotional crux, and this is certainly one--there aren't too many side plots or distractions from this masterful story of sibling growth, separation, and connection.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy Pickett

    Francine and Maureen are identical – but very different – twins who go head to head (toe to toe?) in the race for 6th grade class president! This middle grade graphic novel is a quick read with an important message about being true to yourself while also staying loyal to others. I loved the colorful panels, the diverse characters, and of course the TWINS! Hopefully a sequel will reveal the secret contents of Curtis' top dresser drawer?? Francine and Maureen are identical – but very different – twins who go head to head (toe to toe?) in the race for 6th grade class president! This middle grade graphic novel is a quick read with an important message about being true to yourself while also staying loyal to others. I loved the colorful panels, the diverse characters, and of course the TWINS! Hopefully a sequel will reveal the secret contents of Curtis' top dresser drawer??

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tatianna Spencer

    I love this story because it gives the reader of how complex to be a twin. It is hard to imagine competing in everything or having to do everything together with a sibling. I also appreciate how the parents handle things. They are honest and admit when they could do better. This is a really great story!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Another winner from Varian!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Molly Walker

    Engaging writing enhanced with beautiful art and coloring. I really enjoyed this coming-of-age story about navigating the bond of sisterhood. More middle grade #OwnVoices graphic novels, please!

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