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Double Act

Written by Jacqueline WilsonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Jacqueline Wilson
Illustrated by Nick SharrattAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Nick Sharratt and Sue HeapAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Sue Heap

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Synopsis

Ten-year-old Ruby and Garnet are identical twins who do everything together. Especially since their mother died three years earlier. They dress alike, wear their hair the same, and sit together in every class. In fact, everything about them is the same--except their personalities. Ruby is funny and outgoing, Garnet is sensitive and shy. Together they're the perfect double act--and that's just the way they like it.
Soon the twins' life is turned upside down. Their dad has been spending a lot of time with his new "friend" Rose. Ruby and Garnet can't stand Rose. To make matters worse, Dad and Rose buy a bookstore out in the country and the whole family moves. Ruby hates their new school, but Garnet thinks it isn't all that bad. When Garnet befriends some of their new classmates, Ruby feels betrayed and stops speaking to Garnet. Garnet misses her sister terribly, but has to admit it's nice doing things on her own for a change. Somehow, the girls will have to find a way to maintain their special twin relationship without spending every minute of the day together.

Excerpt

We're twins. I'm Ruby. She's Garnet.

We're identical. There's very few people who can -tell us apart. Well, until we start talking. I tend to go on and on. Garnet is much quieter

That's ~ because I can't get a word in edgeways.

We are exactly the same height and weight. I eat a bit more than Garnet. I love candy, and I like salty things too. I once ate thirteen bags of potato chips in one day. All salt-and-vinegar flavor. I love lots of salt and vinegar on french fries too. French-fried potatoes are my special weakness. I go munch munch munch gulp and they're gone. So then I have to scarf some of Garnet's. She doesn't mind.

Yes I do.

I don't get fatter because I run around more. I hate sitting still. Garnet will sit hunched over a book for hours, but I get the fidgets. We're both good at running, Garnet and me. At our last intramural sports day at school we beat everyone, even the boys. We came in first. Well, I did, actually. Garnet came in second. But that's not surprising, seeing that I'm the oldest. We're both ten. But I'm twenty minutes older. I was the bossy baby who pushed out first. Garnet came second.

We live with our dad and our grandmother.

Dad often can't tell us apart in the morning at breakfast, but then his eyes aren't always quite open. He just swallows black coffee as he jumps into his clothes and then dashes off for his train. Dad works in an office in London and he hates it. He's always tired out when he gets home. But he can tell us apart by then. It's easier in the evening. My braids are generally coming undone and my T-shirt's probably stained. Garnet stays as neat as a pin.

That's what our grandmother says. Gran always used to have pins stuck all down the front of her cardigan. We had to be very careful when we hugged her. Sometimes she even had pins sticking out of her mouth. That was when she did her dressmaking. She used to work in this exclusive boutique, pinning and tucking and sewing all day long. Then, after ...

Well, Gran had to look after us, you see, so she did dressmaking at home. For private customers. Mostly very large ladies who wanted the latest fashions. Garnet and I always got the giggles when we peeped at them in their underwear.

Gran made all our clothes too. That was awfuL It-was bad enough Gran being old-fashioned and making us have our hair in braids. But our clothes made us a laughingstock at school, though some of the mothers said we looked a perfect picture.

We had frilly dresses in summer and dinky pleated skirts in winter, and di-an knitted tooangora boleros that -made us itch, and matching sweaters and cardigans for the cold. Twinsets. And a very silly set of twins we looked too.

But then Gran's arthritis got worse. She'd always had funny fingers and a bad hip and a trick knee. But soon she got so she'd screw up her face when she got up or sat down, and her fingers swelled sideways and she couldn't make them work.

She can't do her dressmaking now. It's a shame, because she loved doing it so much. But there's one Amazing Advantage. We get to wear store-bought clothes now. And because Gran can't really make it on the bus into town, we get to choose.

Well ... Ruby gets to choose.

I choose for both of us. T-shirts. Ilights. Jeans. Matching ones, of course. We still want to look alike. We just want to look normal.
Jacqueline Wilson|Nick Sharratt|Sue Heap

About Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson - Double Act
Jacqueline Wilson is a bestselling author in Britain, second only to J. K. Rowling.

Jacqueline Wilson is the author of award-winning books, including The Suitcase Kid, The Lottie Project, Bad Girls, The Story of Tracy Beaker, Vicky Angel, and The Girls Quartet and she has won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, the Smarties Prize, and the Children’s Book Award for Double Act, which was also highly commended for the Carnegie Medal.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jacqueline Wilson was born in Bath, Somerset, in 1945, but spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames. She always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first “novel” when she was nine, filling countless Woolworths’ composition books as she grew up. She started work at a publisher and then went on to work as a journalist for D.C. Thomson in Scotland after she had an article published in Jackie magazine. Since having her daughter, Emma, she has been writing full time.

Jacqueline’s biggest passion and/or worst vice is buying books. She has over 15,000 books crammed into every corner of her small house—and they’ve started to creep across the carpets. Her favorite holiday place is Hay-On-Wye, which has about twenty secondhand bookshops.

Jacqueline has written numerous books for young people including: Bad Girls, Double Act, The Lottie Project, The Suitcase Kid, The Story of Tracy Beaker, The Bed and Breakfast Star, Cliffhanger, The Illustrated Mum and a quartet for slightly older readers, which includes Girls in Love (an ALA Quick Pick), Girls Under Pressure, Girls Out Late, and Girls in Tears. She has also written a series of crime novels and several plays, which have been broadcast on the radio.

Jacqueline has received countless honors and has won several awards in England, including The Young Telegraph/Fully Booked Award for The Bed and Breakfast Star, the Smarties Prize, the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and the Children’s Book Award for Double Act. The Illustrated Mum was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Awardand has won the Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. Girls in Tears received the W.H. Smith Children’s Book of the Year Award.


PRAISE

GIRLS IN LOVE
“Tender moments . . . and the funny narrative, filled with British colloquialisms, and clever exchanges . . . make this a breezy read.”
Publishers Weekly


BAD GIRLS
“Wilson proves that bad girls can make for a good story.”
Publishers Weekly


THE LOTTIE PROJECT
“Wilson creatively reshapes [heroine] Charlie’s own experiences to depict the plight of a girl living 100 years earlier, thus adding new dimension to Charlie’s perceptions while offering intriguing period particulars.”
—Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Charlie’s creative writing is a gentle endorsement for using one’s imagination to work through problems. Readers will empathize with many of the situations Charlie copes with.”
The Horn Book Magazine


THE STORY OF TRACY BEAKER
“Wilson again shapes a convincing and memorable heroine with a snappy, fresh voice.”
Publishers Weekly

About Nick Sharratt

Nick Sharratt - Double Act
Nick Sharratt has written and illustrated many books for children. He lives in Gloucestershire, England.

About Sue Heap

Sue Heap - Double Act
Sue Heap is a rising illustrator in England. Her book Cowboy Baby (Candlewick) recently won the Smarties Prize. She lives in England.

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