Tuesday 23 April 2024

BFFs (Not) Twinning #1

BFFs (Not) Twinning #1 by Alexa Moses. Illustrated by Sofya Karmazina. Scholastic 2024. Paperback MG graphic novel. RRP $15.99. ISBN 9781761292620

Reviewed by Debra Williams

Grace and Isabel (Izzy) Tomic are 10-year-old identical twins in Grade 5 at Rocky Point Primary school. They are close, closer than BFFs. They have a secret language which they have shared since they were babies. But although they are identical in looks, they are very different personalities.

Each kid in the class must keep a diary for the whole year. Grace loves it, Izzy doesn’t, and struggles both with the concept of actually writing an entry each day.

When Harmony Day at school approaches, the principal announces a competition for the best presentation, where the main prize is $100. Unknown to each other, the girls choose the same topic – France -- for their presentations. When they discover the fact, there is a battle between them as to who will give in and change their topic, but it doesn’t happen. The two close sisters are now apart from each other, with the rift growing deeper and larger. When they also discover that a whole bunch of other kids are doing presentations on France as well, they are crestfallen.

On the day of the competition, with just a short time to spare, the sisters unite to present something totally different in a creative way, based on their own family’s cultural background.  With the backing of their friends, the girls not only win, but reconcile their differences, truly embodying what Harmony Day is all about. And they also get to triumph over the personal bully, with an accidental outcome. (No bully is harmed in the process!)

Each chapter is an excerpt from the diaries, written alternately from each sister’s POV. With a theme of teamwork, forgiveness, and friendship this is a novel that will be enjoyed by readers 10+ years of age, as the sisters declare that they are stronger together.

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