Plush-toy abuse, a sudden jelly bean shortage, severe rule-bending, and several near riots punctuate a helter-skelter scavenger hunt as the preteen Tapper twins again go head-to-head (The Tapper Twins Go to War (with Each Other), 2015).
What starts out as a well-meant fundraiser for a food bank quickly devolves into warfare as, for a prize of four front-row seats at any upcoming Madison Square Garden event (!), the students of Upper East Side’s Culver Prep Middle School team up and fan out with an excellent (if Manhattan-centric) list of New York City sites famous and obscure to visit and small artifacts to gather. The story is cast as a multivoiced oral-history transcript with interspersed texts, bulletin board exchanges, documents, maps, side comments, and snapshot photos. The hunt takes driven sixth-grade president Claudia Tapper’s team from Bloomingdale’s (“photo of a price tag for item over $100,000”) to a hyperexclusive eatery in Greenwich Village, while her twin, Reese, and his short-attention-span buddies ramble around lower Manhattan, with a brief interlude locked (long story) in a New Jersey–bound delivery truck. By day’s end it looks like the snotty and unscrupulous Fembot clique has copped the tickets—but Rodkey works several ingenious twists into the climax to put the win into the unlikeliest of hands. And seeing certain badly behaved parent chaperones receive just deserts adds to the fun.
Squired by rival sibs who are, at worst, frenemies, this dizzy tour mixes glimpses of glossy and relatively obscure Big Apple attractions with mishaps aplenty but no (permanent) harm done. (Fiction. 10-12)