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In spite of numerous reform efforts, higher standards, twelve years under Democrats and eighteen under Republicans, th... More

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Author: Grace Lin

Illustrator: Grace Lin

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Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, ½2010

Material: hard cover

Summary: Everyone thinks twin sisters Ling and Ting are the same. Yes, they wear the same clothes, yest they have the same brown eyes, yes, they have dark brown hair. But Ling and Ting insist they are not the same. One is a magician, one forgets the trick; one can use chopsticks, the other can't; and so on ... This is a set of six stories for children learning to read who are ready to move to short stories.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 9; read yourself: 8 and up

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Reading Level: 2.1

Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter laughed at the first story (about the haircuts) and giggled at the chopstick story, but generally she just read through the story and moved on. She liked the colorful illustrations, and the girls reminded her of two friends who are Chinese twins, but didn't even think they'd like the book.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is very clever, but it disappointed me. I L-O-V-E Grace Lin, but found the stories had much richer potential than the easy-reader/stilted narrative. The references in later stories to events from a previous one helps tie them together, but if you read this with younger kids as individual stories, they may not make those connections.

Pros: This brightly-colored easy reader shows two sisters in a very positive light and with a nice dose of humor. This is a book that can easily be enjoyed by younger audiences not ready to read themselves.

Cons: Because the intended audience is developing readers (second grade) the sentences are short. At times it is very stilted and kids will sound like reading robots.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The stories are worth sharing, but this isn't probably a book you'd keep for your life-time library.


Educational Themes: Individually or collectively, the stories can be used as part of a discussion about family life, including Twins and sisters; helping each other; and culture. The humor (e.g., gluing food to chopsticks) lets kids see that laughter can work better than frustration and anger.

Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2010 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils. The book will be donated to a reader in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - easy reader series, multicultural, family

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2011

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