Series: Twins #1
Maureen and Francine Carter are entering the sixth grade, and things are changing. Francine wants to be called “Fran,” she keeps disappearing after school to hang out with her new friends, and she doesn’t want to share all her classes with Maureen. Then she runs for student council president–but Maureen decides to run, too. Can their sisterly bond withstand the competition?
Twins joins the ranks of numerous middle grade graphic novels treating the topic of entering middle school and navigating new friendships. In this case, however, the friends are twins–cautious Maureen and her more outgoing sister Francine. Maureen imagines they will spend the sixth grade with each other, sharing classes, joining the same clubs, and going on as they have been. Francine, however, wants to make a new start as “Fran” and she does not want her sister tagging along. The result is a touching story about what it means to be friends, but also family.
I adore graphic novels with cute and colorful illustrations, so the brightly-colored spreads in Twins immediately caught my attention. Something about those cheerful pinks and yellows really says, “Middle school!” to me, even if Francine–sorry, Fran–is longing to be seen as grown up and mature. A few panels where the characters are almost drawn in a chibi-like style add to the sheer adorableness of this book.
The story itself will be familiar to fans of the trendy middle school graphic novels, most of them which seem to deal with the difficulties of changing friend groups as individuals mature at different rates. Maureen, for instance, often finds herself hanging out at the mall with her friends who are boy watching, even though she clearly is not enjoying herself. And Francine has more of a desire to break away from her twin a little and be seen as an individual rather than a unit, even though Maureen does not really care what anyone else thinks. But even though the plot elements may be familiar, the characters make the book special. Maureen and Francine are sure to win over the hearts of readers.
I loved getting to read Maureen and Francine’s story, and I hope that Twins is just the first installment of a series. The girls were a delight to get to know, and I’m sure they will have many new adventures together, always as sisters. It would be really interesting to get the next book from Francine’s perspective rather than Maureen’s. But I guess readers will just have to wait and see!