Back-to-School Blitz

Harper/HarperCollins/. (Twins vs. Triplets: Bk. 1). Jun. 2021. 96p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780063059450; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780063059443.
Gr 2-5–David is excited to begin third grade. He studied all summer for Geography Club and is hoping to be captain of the Globetrotters. Also, the Romero twins will not be in his class this year. “Traviesos,” Spanish for “troublemakers,” is one of Mom’s favorite nicknames for the twins, who are always pulling pranks on David. Once, they rigged a jumbo-size jar of pickles to pour over his head when he stepped outside his door. All summer, David had to avoid the shaving cream–filled balloons that the twins tossed at him. But since his parents spoke to the principal, David will not have to deal with Ash and Iris anymore. As his mom would say, “No hay problema.” Now David is free from the Romeros, but what about his new neighbors? Bennie, Beckett, and Bird Benitez will be in his class…triplets! Plus, the teacher has asked him to help them acclimate to Arroyo Seco Elementary School. As recess becomes a competition between the Romero twins and the Benitez triplets for control of the tower, David and his friends must avoid the pranks while trying to keep their playground from becoming off-limits. David and his best friend, Edith, devise a plan to put an end to the competition using their geography skills. Will the plan work? Torres weaves Spanish terms throughout, and most of the primary characters have Latinx surnames. End-of-chapter reader prompts and activities at the book’s conclusion will encourage reader interaction. The black-and-white digital illustrations enhance the wacky plot.
VERDICT Early readers who appreciate humorous school stories will enjoy this series debut.

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