Twins: A Graphic Novel has two main elements that make it both familiar and new. Varian Johnson does the “twin thing” (two sisters who are best friends, know each other in ways even their parents cannot know, and are each other’s “partner in crime/fear/whatever is needed), but then makes a new twist with having a modern touch with a blended family of color.
The story is simple: Two sisters; almost identical (one is slightly taller; this one has a scar) and best friends. That is until Francine decides to become Fran. And that is not the only change: she starts having different classes than Maureen, her friendships change, and she even starts dressing differently. Maureen is none too happy about change in general, but especially when it comes to her sister. A graphic novel about change, growing up (and yes, apart in some ways). But always about sisters with that “OH how I love to hate her/OH how I love to love her” mentality most of us have with our siblings, even if they are not a twin.
As an adult there were a few bumps in the flow and story lines/solutions, but ages 8 to 12-13 will enjoy. (Could go younger for a stronger reader, context/content is fine, but it might be a bit long for some.) I like that Maureen, though she is often seen as the “perfect one” has realistic issues and emotions. Sometimes she is petty, sad, grumpy, proud, scared and more. We see most of the story from Maureen’s point of view as she is the one “learning the lesson” but if this is a series, I hope Francine is featured as well.
Shannon Wright’s illustrations are cozy. You see the bold, but not overpowering, colors. But also, the softness of them. The scenes play out with the right number of details. I was reading a reader copy, so not all images were finished, but the seemed to be pleasant and right for the tone/style of the book.