________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 9. . . .November 1, 2013


Tag Team.

W. C. Mack.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2013.
177 pp., pbk. & EBK, $6.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4431-2828-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4431-2854-4 (EBK).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Stephanie Johnson.

*** /4



I should have felt better about the Twofer once I’d met them and all of the mystery was gone. But the reality was worse than the mystery. After admiring their precisely parted hair, I couldn’t help reaching up to touch the uncontrollable mop on the top of my own head. I glanced at Owen, who was stocky and much shorter than me. He always described us as looking like a pencil and an eraser. What if we had been born identical? I glanced back at the twins, still amazed by how similar they were. But even more interesting than their appearance was the fact that they were confident, expert players with a closer connection than any brothers or sisters I’d ever seen. They were in tune with each other. And wouldn’t Coach Baxter rather have two players who were in tune with each other out on the court than two who weren’t? I looked at Owen again. Never mind the tune. We weren’t even listening to the same kind of music. Why would Coach give us game time instead of the Twofer? The answer was simple. He wouldn’t.


In this return to the lives of twin brothers Owen and Russell, W. C. Mack delivers another exciting read about the trials and tribulations the brothers face in school. Directly following the action of the first book, Athlete vs. Mathlete, Owen and Russell are still in the midst of basketball season, and Russell is finally settling into his new role of athlete alongside his Masters of the Mind team. Things are looking good for the team, especially when identical twin brothers transfer to the school wearing their letterman sports jackets and Coach Baxter gives them an immediate invite to join the basketball team. Annoyed that the new twins don’t have to go through basketball tryouts, Owen and Russell are thoroughly worked up about what this will mean for them in school and on the team, especially since they are no longer the only set of twins in school. On top of this, it turns out that the new twins are also highly intelligent and now rival Russell for the spot of school mathlete. Owen treats this turn of events with his trademark jealousy and scheming whereas Russell attempts to logically solve a messy situation.

     After reading the first book, I found that Tag Team was more enjoyable as less time was spent on pigeonholing the characters into their athlete and geek stereotypes and more time was spent on developing the story and exploring the brothers’ emotions. This novel again alternates between Owen and Russell’s perspectives, and it contained more humour this time around as well as including the compelling action scenes that the first book was notable for. It is interesting that, even after Owen learned a lesson in the first book about teamwork and jealousy, he still fell into a similar trap in Tag Team. While this doesn’t make him a very likeable character, he definitely causes readers to experience a range of emotions that will keep them interested in his story. All in all, Tag Team is a fun read, one that will makes readers want to keep reading more about Owen and Russell.


Stephanie Johnson is a graduate of the Master of Library and Information Studies Program from the University of Alberta and currently works at the Edmonton Public Library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.