Double Act

Jacqueline Wilson, Author, Sue Heap, Illustrator, Nick Sharratt, Illustrator
Jacqueline Wilson, Author, Sue Heap, Illustrator, Nick Sharratt, Illustrator Delacorte Press $14.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-385-32312-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-2508-4
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-440-41374-5
Hardcover - 251 pages - 978-0-7451-4734-5
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-440-86631-2
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-16442-9
Prebound-Glued - 185 pages - 978-0-613-16097-1
Hardcover - 978-1-84607-087-7
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4070-4589-4
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-440-86503-2
Hardcover - 978-1-84440-038-6
Paperback - 187 pages - 978-0-440-86759-3
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An unexceptional mix of familiar plot devices, this British import is almost gratingly obvious. Ten-year-old twins Ruby and Garnet take turns narrating, and although their voices aren't especially different, they are meant to be opposites. Ruby is outgoing, Garnet shy; Ruby leads, Garnet follows. Their mother has died long ago, and now their father has a girlfriend, whom they immediately reject. The four move from the city to the country, where the twins are desperately unhappy. Serious issues, like the burdens of twinhood and the difficulties of forging independent identities, become lost amid a surfeit of frothy subplots, including an audition for a TV show and a plan to enter a ritzy boarding school. The narration is frequently cloying, as in Ruby's comments about her father's taste for classic literature: ""If we have a look at Dad's book we wonder what the Dickens they're about and they seem very Hardy, but Dad likes them."" The brittle nature of Wilson's (Elsa, Star of the Shelter) writing finds its extension in her glib resolution of the conflicts, and the illustrations, rendered as if by Ruby and Garnet, are as flat and unrevealing as the story. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)
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