The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other)


By Geoff Rodkey

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This bestselling first book in the Tapper Twins series is a hilariously authentic showcase of what it’s like to be in middle school in our digitally-saturated world, told as a colorful “oral history” with photos, screenshots, text messages, chat logs, and online gaming digital art.

Twelve-year-old twins, Claudia and Reese, who couldn’t be more different…except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war. But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that’s fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly declared “This uproarious series opener… is packed with both laugh-out-loud moments and heart.”

Don’t miss the further adventures of the Tapper Twins in The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York, The Tapper Twins Run for President, and The Tapper Twins Go Viral.


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Table of Contents

A Sneak Peek of The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York

Copyright Page

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compiled by Claudia Tapper

From interviews conducted by Claudia Tapper

Copyright © 2015 by Claudia Tapper

All rights reserved by Claudia Tapper

Not to be republished or reprinted in any form without the express written consent of Claudia Tapper

For media inquiries, publishing offers, etc., please contact:

Claudia Tapper (

Dear Ebook Reader,

Hello! My name is Claudia Tapper, and I wrote this book. Then I printed it out so people could read it. And when I did, I realized I’d left a lot of things out, so I handwrote them in the margins.

Then some person at a publishing company decided to turn my book into an ebook. Which was personally VERY exciting for me.

Except it turns out you can’t handwrite things in the margins of ebooks. You can handwrite photo captions, but not margin notes. Which is weird. But whatever.

So somebody in the publisher’s office typed out my handwritten margin notes and stuck them in the text. Every time you see Ed. note: blah blah blah, you should know that A) Ed. note is short for Editor’s note and B) the editor is me, Claudia.


Claudia Tapper

P.S. Thank you for buying my book!


P.P.S. It was all my brother’s fault. (Not the ebook situation, but everything else.)




Here is some background information about The War:

My name is Claudia Tapper. I live in New York City, and I have two goals in life: I either want to be a famous singer-songwriter like Miranda Fleet, or the President of the United States.

Or both, if I have time.

My brother's name is Reese. He has no goals in life. Unless you count being a professional soccer player, which is totally unrealistic.

We are, unfortunately, twins. I am twelve years old. Reese is six.

I know what you're thinking. "Really? Is that possible?"

No. It's not. Reese is twelve, too.

He just has the brain of a six-year-old. A six-year-old that ate too much sugar and did not get its nap, so it has to run around our apartment and kick soccer balls against the wall and make noises like "GRONK!" and "SKADOOSH!"

Honestly, living with him is the most annoying thing ever. It's a pretty small apartment.

We live on the Upper West Side. But we go to school at Culvert Prep, which is across Central Park on the Upper EAST Side. My parents like to say the Upper West Side is more "down to earth." As far as I can tell, this basically means our neighborhood has more burger places, and not as many stores that sell $800 shoes. (Which, BTW, is insane. The shoes aren't even that cute.)

Culvert Prep is academically excellent, so there's no way Reese could have gotten in if he hadn't started going there in kindergarten. At that age, it's very hard for the admissions office to tell if a kid will turn out to be a total meathead.

Mom and Dad think Reese is perfectly smart, and he just needs to apply himself. They're wrong, but it's not worth arguing with them. If they had to admit the truth about their meathead son, it would make them incredibly sad.

And Dad is sad enough already, because he is a lawyer.

Anyway, back to Culvert Prep, which is where The War started.

To be totally specific, it started in the Culvert Prep cafeteria on Monday, September 8th, at approximately 8:27am. That's when Reese—in front of basically the whole sixth grade—launched a cruel and senseless sneak attack on me.


It didn't start at school. It started in our kitchen that morning, when Claudia ate my toaster pastry.


That is SO not true. It wasn't even yours.


Yes, it was! There's six in a package. We each get three. And I only had two!


I only had two, too.




It's true! I think Dad eats them when he gets home at night.


All I know is, brown sugar cinnamon's my favorite. And there was ONE left, and it was MINE.

And I was lying in bed, thinking, "Oh, man, I can't wait to narf that toaster pastry!"

Then I go into the kitchen, and you're, like, stuffing your face with it! And when I got mad, you laughed at me!


A) "Narf" is not even a word. And B) this is completely irrelevant.


It's totally revelant!




Whatever! It's important! I NEVER would've made fun of you in the cafeteria if you hadn't eaten my toaster pastry! And then laughed at me about it!

The whole thing was your fault!


That is ridiculous. I'm not putting it in the book.


You HAVE to! It's the whole reason the war started!


No way. Not going in. It's MY book.


Then I quit. Do your own stupid interviews. I'm going to go play MetaWorld. Ed. Note: site of major battle (like Gettysburg or Waterloo)



Augh! Fine. I'll put it at the end. Like a footnote or something.


No way. It goes in the actual book. Right at the beginning! This exact argument.


That'll ruin the whole thing! Have you ever SEEN an oral history?


I don't even know what one is.


It's like, different people telling a story in their own words. But nobody, like, stops to argue with each other in the middle of it. ESPECIALLY not at the beginning.


This is supposed to be the true story of what happened, right? And you're recording it. So you have to put in EVERY WORD I'm saying. Or your book is a big skronking Ed. Note: also not a real word lie, and I quit.


I hate you.






I apologize for that last chapter.

But I had to leave it in because Reese talked to a lawyer. And the lawyer told him he could refuse to participate in the oral history if I didn't print our entire argument exactly how I recorded it on my phone.

Which is ridiculous.

And I'm pretty sure the lawyer just told Reese that to make him shut up, because the lawyer was very tired from a long week of being a lawyer and just wanted to lie on the couch and fall asleep watching football.

But when I went to complain, he was already snoring even though it was only the first quarter. And I didn't want to wake him up, because I am a kind and considerate person.

And I couldn't appeal to a higher court, because Mom was at yoga.

Just to be clear, though, this says Chapter 1½, but really it's Chapter 1, and you should just ignore that other Chapter 1.

Back to The War.

Historians disagree about where exactly it began. Some claim it started not at 8:27am in the Culvert Prep cafeteria, but an hour earlier, in the kitchen of Apartment 6D at 437 West End Avenue.

These historians are idiots. And they can't even count to three.

Which, BTW, is the maximum number of toaster pastries I have EVER eaten out of a box of six.

But whatever.

Here's exactly what happened:

First of all, it's important to know that on a normal weekday at 8:27am, pretty much the whole sixth grade is hanging out in the cafeteria. So if you're going to launch a vicious sneak attack on an innocent person and want to make sure everybody hears it for the greatest possible humiliating damage, the cafeteria is the place to do it.

Second, it's even MORE important to know this: I was not the one who farted.


I still think it was you.


It wasn't! And we are NOT discussing this.


Because you had Thai food the night before, which totally makes you fart the next day.

And it smelled exactly like it did when we got off the bus that morning—




—and I KNOW you farted on the bus, because I didn't just smell it, I HEARD—






Sorry again.

I have decided not to even try to interview Reese about anything else until I can at least get to Chapter 2, because so far he is totally ruining my oral history.

Back to the cafeteria.

I was sitting with Sophie Koh, who is awesome and has been my one and only best friend since my original best friend, Meredith Timms, turned into a total Fembot and I had to take a vacation from not only being her best friend, but from even being her friend at all. Which is very sad and tragic, but is a whole other story.

Sophie and I were at the middle table by the window. I was telling her what happened in the latest episode of Thrones of Death, because Sophie's parents think she's too young to watch it. And they actually still have parental controls on their DVR.

Which is insane. But whatever.

The Fembots were in their usual spot at the next table over, talking about shoes, or stabbing each other in the back, or whatever it is they do. Sophie and I call them "Fembots" because they all dress and act exactly the same way and have no idea how to think for themselves. And once when we were telling Sophie's mom about them, her dad overheard and said they sounded like Fembots, which are supposedly these girl robots from some movie I can never remember the name of.

Anyway, "Fembots" is kind of perfect for them. Athena Cohen is their leader, and she is a total nightmare.

So the Fembots were on one side of us, and on the other side were Reese and his stupid soccer friends. Including Jens Kuypers, Ed. Note: (actually pronounced "Yens") who is from the Netherlands and had just started going to Culvert the week before.

It's a little sad that Jens immediately started hanging out with Reese and the other soccer idiots. Because Jens does not seem like a soccer idiot at all. For one thing, he doesn't just wear FC Barcelona jerseys and warm-up pants all the time—he actually wears normal clothes, too.

For example, on the first day of school, he wore these really cool dark green pants with a button-down shirt and a brown vest that looked like it might be suede or something, and brown leather shoes that kind of matched the vest, but not quite. (Which was even better, because if they'd matched perfectly, it would have looked dorky.)

Also, Jens has high cheekbones and a very nice smile, which I know because he smiled at me on the first day when we were in line for trays at lunch and he let me go ahead of him. (This also shows that he has excellent manners, which is totally not true of any of the other soccer idiots.)

And because Jens is from the Netherlands—which means he is officially Dutch—he has this REALLY cool accent.

But even though Jens is not like the soccer idiots at all, I guess he started hanging out with them anyway because he is awesome at soccer. I wouldn't know, but that's what Reese says. And it makes sense, because Jens looks like he is very athletic.

So, Sophie and I were at the middle table in between the Fembots and the soccer idiots. There were also some other kids at the far end of our table, like Kalisha and Charlotte and Max, but they are not important to The War.

Except that one of them may have been the person who actually farted.

Sophie and I smelled the fart at almost exactly the same time. Her face scrunched up, and she put her hand to her nose, and I did the same thing, and we both went "Eeeew!" But not too loudly, because Sophie and I are mature enough to know that when somebody beefs, the polite thing is to not mention it and just try to avoid breathing for a while until it goes away.

Unfortunately, nobody else in the sixth grade is mature enough to know this.

And it was a very bad fart, so everybody smelled it.

Right away, Athena Cohen jumped up from her seat like a total drama queen and yelled, "Oh, that is DISGUSTING! Who DID that?"

The soccer idiots all started jumping up and making faces, and then Reese pointed at me and yelled, "IT WAS YOU!"

This was not only immature, but also totally unfair. Because, again, it was definitely NOT me.

So I said—in a very calm and mature voice considering the situation—"No, it wasn't."

But Reese wouldn't stop. He had one hand over his nose, and he was pointing at me with the other hand, and then he yelled, in a really loud and obnoxious voice, "JUST ADMIT IT, PRINCESS FARTS-A-LOT!"

And this is how totally immature the rest of the sixth grade is: everybody laughed.

The soccer idiots, the Fembots, even Charlotte and Max at the far end of the table.

It didn't matter at all that I was totally innocent, or that "Princess Farts-A-Lot" is not even funny. The whole world, or at least the whole sixth grade, was laughing at me for something I DIDN'T EVEN DO.

All because of Reese.

This, in case you couldn't tell, was the beginning of The War.

It was exactly like the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that got America into World War II.

Well, not EXACTLY exactly, because there were no bombs, or ships, or planes, or actual death involved. But even so, it was horrible, and cruel, and totally unfair. And because I was so shocked and hurt, all I could do was say, "As if! Grow up, Reese!"

Or something like that. I can't remember exactly, because it was so stressful that my memory is kind of fuzzy. (I think this is what historians mean when they talk about "the fog of war.")

What I DO remember is that I had to grab my backpack and pretend to just casually walk away when really I was trying to get to the girls' bathroom ASAP so I wouldn't cry in front of everybody.

That is how cruel and horrible it was. It actually made me cry.

And because she is a true friend, Sophie went to the bathroom with me.

SOPHIE KOH, best friend of innocent victim

You were really upset. Because Jens was right there when Reese said it, and—


Not because of Jens. Because of everybody. EVERYBODY laughed at me.


Well, eventually you were worried about everybody. But at first, you were all, "What if Jens thinks I—" Why are you making that hand gesture? What does that mean?

Ooooh! Ed. Note: I have NO IDEA what Sophie is talking about here

Okay! Sorry.

So, um… yeah, it wasn't about Jens. At all. It was… like… uh…




Totally. Like, I remember you were crying, and—wait, can I say that? That you were crying?




Good. So, yeah. You were crying, and you were, like, worried it was going to stick, and everybody was going to call you "Princess Farts-A-Lot" for the rest of your life.



  • Praise for The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other):
    A 2015 NYPL 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Book

    *"This uproarious series opener... is packed with both laugh-out-loud moments and heart."

    Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • *"Sibling rivalry is alive and well in this story.... [it] will cause readers to reflect on the highs and lows of everyday life."—School Library Connection, starred review
  • "Appealing to tween digital natives and fans of 'Origami Yoda'...and 'Charlie Joe Jackson'.... A fine beginning to a funny, new middle grade series.—School Library Journal
  • "Geoff Rodkey... has his pacing down to a science.... The voices of the two characters telling the story are absolutely pitch-perfect.... Kids are going to gobble up this new series."—San Francisco Book Review
  • "Thanks to the inclusion of various points of view, Claudia's reasonably balanced narrative offers plenty of humorous insight, and occasional doodles and photos keep it peppy."—Booklist
  • "An engaging mash-up of history, gaming, social media and family dynamics."—Shelf Awareness
  • "An authentic and funny look at sibling rivalry."—VOYA

On Sale
May 3, 2016
Page Count
240 pages

Geoff Rodkey

About the Author

Geoff Rodkey is an Emmy-nominated screenwriter who has written the hit films Daddy Day Care, RV, The Shaggy Dog, and the Disney Channel original TV movie Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas. He is also the author of The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other), The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York, and The Tapper Twins Run for President, as well as the middle grade trilogy The Chronicles of Egg. He lives in New York City.

Learn more about this author