Twins

Graphix / Scholastic, Oct 6, 2020 / Illustrated by Shannon Wright

Maureen and Francine Carter are twins—and best friends. They participate in the same clubs, enjoy the same foods, and are partners on all their school projects. But just before the girls start sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran—a girl who wants to join the chorus, run for class president, and dress in fashionable outfits that set her apart from Maureen. A girl who seems happy to share only two classes with her sister!

Maureen and Francine are growing apart and there’s nothing Maureen can do to stop it. Are sisters really forever? Or will middle school change things for good?

My Thoughts on the Book

I’ve written a number of books, including The Parker Inheritance and The Great Greene Heist, but I don’t think I’ve ever written anything quite as autobiographical as Twins. Just like Maureen and Francine, I’m a twin — five minutes younger than my identical twin brother. And like the girls in the book, my brother and I shared all the same classes and activities until middle school.

But Twins was also inspired by my daughters. My kiddos, especially my oldest, loves graphic novels. However, we struggled to find comics that featured Black girls like her. We struggled to find graphic novels where she could see herself on the page. And this is how Twins morphed from being a book for me into being a book for all readers. Black kids deserve to see themselves as the stars of the story, and it’s just as important for other readers to see Black kids as the stars of the story as well. To paraphrase Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, books can be mirrors, windows, or sliding glass doors, and hopefully Twins will be able to serve readers in all of these ways.

Praise

A Junior Library Guild Selection

 “Wright’s artwork, crisp and colorful, does a masterful job of tracking the twins’s emotional arcs through expressive composition, and Johnson’s impeccable pacing keeps things moving while still making room for rich development. A beautiful reflection on sisterhood and coming of age that belongs in every collection.” — Booklist, starred review

 A touching, relatable story of identity, sisterhood, and friendship.” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review