MY SISTER IS DRIVING ME CRAZY

Matilda and Prudence, 13, are most dissimilar identical twins. Mattie, younger by two minutes, tells how their differences nearly divide them. The story begins with the arrival of gorgeous new-boy Cam next door and ends with the opening of their mother's new health food co-op restaurant. Meanwhile, Mattie gets her hair shorn and looks for other ways to be more of a ``normie''—the word she and Pru use for non-twins. There may not be much that's new to say about twins after the onslaught of Sweet Valley stories, Bobbsey Twins, and other formulaic creations; still, Ryan makes these episodes original by treating the girls as distinct personalities who happen to be linked by their identical DNAs. Neither easy answers nor hardcore lessons—just good clean fun, carried out with panache. (Fiction. 11+)*justify no*

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1991

ISBN: 0-671-73203-X

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1991

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DANIEL'S STORY

After witnessing the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany, Daniel is suddenly transported, at age 14, from his comfortable life in Frankfurt to a Polish ghetto, then to Auschwitz and Buchenwald—losing most of his family along the way, seeing Nazi brutality of both the casual and the calculated kind, and recording atrocities with a smuggled camera (``What has happened to me?...Who am I? Where am I going?''). Matas, explicating an exhibit of photos and other materials at the new United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, creates a convincing composite youth and experience—fictional but carefully based on survivors' accounts. It's a savage story with no attempt to soften the culpability of the German people; Daniel's profound anger is easier to understand than is his father's compassion or his sister's plea to ``chose love. Always choose love.'' Daniel survives to be reunited, after the war, with his wife-to-be, but his dying friend's last word echoes beyond the happy ending: ``Remember...'' An unusual undertaking, effectively carried out. Chronology; glossary. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-590-46920-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1993

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IN CAVERNS OF BLUE ICE

Its focus firmly on the details of mountaineering in the French Alps and the Himalayas—mechanics, technique, lore, social milieu—a simplistic novel about an unlikely superheroine (though already making record-breaking climbs while still in her teens, her only major injury occurs early on when a guide hazes her by giving her a double load) who achieves worldwide recognition for her exploits in the 1950's. The tacked-on plot—minor setbacks, a romance with another climber—has less depth than most comic strips and reads like an old-fashioned adulatory biography. Roper is obviously well-acquainted with climbing, and for anyone interested in the subject there's a wealth of information here; he should have omitted the feeble story and added an index. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-316-75606-7

Page Count: 188

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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