When Kansas and Francine find themselves in the middle of a dare war to determine who will be the news anchor of the fourth-grade Media Club, they become fierce competitors and quick enemies . . . until they discover that they have something surprising in common.
The challenges start small (licking a lizard, hanging upside down on the monkey bars for all of recess), but soon escalate to hair dying, ketchup eating, wearing a tutu to school, and running underwear up the flagpole. Francine and Kansas attempt to outsmart each other every step of the way, and all of the nonsense is a welcome distraction from their parents' divorces. Graff's story is lighthearted and humorous, but honestly addresses the emotions associated with divorce. Her characters' voices, interactions, and hang-ups are relatable, as they battle each other and adjust to their families' reconfigurations.
Perceptive and funny . . . In both the dare war and the parental wars, Francine and Kansas are put to the test, but they emerge stronger, triumphant, and, best of all, together.
School Library Journal
Readers will be hooked by the first chapter . . . An enjoyable, lighthearted read about a difficult topic.
Graff does an impressive job striking a balance between humor and heft . . . With two equally compelling protagonists to root for and plenty to make kids laugh, this is sure to resonate with and entertain young readers.
- Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award
- Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award
- Minnesota Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award
- Oklahoma Sequoyah Children's Book Award
- Rhode Island Children's Book Award
- South Carolina Children's Book Award