These twins have nothing in common…or do they?
Mitch and Amy by Beverly Cleary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mitchell and Amy Huff are fraternal twins, who, like any fraternal opposite sex twins, have nothing in common. Amy is a good reader, but multiplication is the bane of her existence. Mitch is good at math and building things, but reading his not his strong suit. The duo are beginning fourth grade, and finally have something in common – the school bully, Alan Hibbler, who hides his insecurities through his bullying behaviors. Can Amy and Mitch overcome their weaknesses AND their common enemy?
I read all of the Ramona Quimby books between 3rd and 5th grades (up to Ramona Forever), as well as the Ralph S. Mouse series, Ellen Tebbits, and Dear Mr. Henshaw, but managed to completely overlook a story about fraternal twins. This is a topic I can completely relate to being a fraternal twin (with a brother). Beverly Cleary nailed the dynamic of same-age siblings who have nothing in common – my brother and I couldn’t possibly be any more different, but we did deal with common annoying kids in elementary school, especially when we were the same age as the Huff twins.
I found myself identifying with Amy, especially being lousy at multiplication – I got hung up on long division in sixth grade! I can definitely see some of my own brother in Mitchell, and the little moments where the two of us got along good.
This story was truly a slice-of-everyday-life that makes Cleary’s stories so good. I highly recommend “Mitch and Amy,” because even when you aren’t a twin, the struggle of siblings is always real!
As Mitch said in his book report, “read the book!”
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