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by W.C. Mack

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59990-915-8
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Seventh-grade fraternal twins Owen and Russell are as different as night and day, and that spells trouble when both of them make the basketball team.

Owen is the quintessential jock: He plays basketball nearly all the time, and when he isn't playing, he's thinking about it. Russell, more concerned with academics, serves as leader of his school's Masters of the Mind team, a group that competes against other schools to solve tough mental puzzles. He's generally regarded as physically inept. Russell and Owen don't understand each other's worlds, but previously, it hardly seemed to matter. Then the new coach asks Russell to try out for the team because he's tall, and with that height comes a surprisingly satisfying skill in blocking shots. Owen, no longer the sole star athlete in his family, becomes increasingly jealous as his father, who once more or less ignored Russell, begins to focus on both sons. Chapters alternate between the brothers’ first-person accounts, providing readers with a nice look at their diametrically opposed thinking. Russell's chapters are amusing, as he discovers unexpected talents and abilities. Owen comes across as much less attractive; readers may be surprised by the level of his anger and his childish behavior.

Despite the differing perspectives, though, it’s never more than a superficial exploration of the differences between brothers, enlivened by welcome infusions of basketball. (Fiction. 10-14)