By Geoff Rodkey
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Told as a series of interviews, screenshots, text messages, and social media bursts, The Tapper Twins Run For President tops the antics of the real 2016 elections! Claudia Tapper wants to become President of the United States someday. She’s the sixth grade class president, and has every reason to presume she’ll get reelected. Reese Tapper could not care less about student government–until he learns becoming class president is his best shot at overturning a hated new rule. And thus, the greatest political rivalry in Culvert Prep history is born! In a tangle of evil-genius advisers, meddlesome best-friends, negative campaign attacks and outrageously funny missteps, Claudia and Reese duke it out to see who will rule the school.
Table of Contents
A Sneak Peek of The Tapper Twins Go Viral
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AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE CULVERT PREP MIDDLE SCHOOL SIXTH GRADE CLASS ELECTION (Second Semester)
compiled from interviews conducted by
a whole bunch of people, including:
CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT
CANDIDATES FOR TREASURER
SENIOR CAMPAIGN STAFF
The Culvert Chronicle
Nutty the Squirrel*
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.
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.)
DOGGIE TERROR FROM THE SKIES
None of this ever would have happened if Reese hadn't almost murdered a very small dog with a soccer ball.
I did NOT almost murder it! The dog didn't even get hurt!
And it was a total accident! So even if I'd skronked Ed. Note: not a real word the dog, it wouldn't have been murder. It would've been, like… dogslaughter. Ed. Note: (like "manslaughter," but with dog?) (either way, not a real word)
I should back up a little and explain the situation.
Reese and I live in New York City. Which is awesome. It's actually TOO awesome, because so many people want to live here that it is seriously overcrowded.
And it's not just overcrowded in the subway, or the grocery store, or Midtown during the holidays, but everywhere. There is just no space at all.
For example: size-wise, my bedroom is somewhere between a very tiny closet and a very large shoebox.
Not that I'm complaining. I'm actually very grateful I even HAVE a bedroom. If Reese and I had to share a room, it would be a total nightmare. For a LOT of reasons. But especially because he smells horrible.
Okay, THAT is not fair. I only smell bad after soccer.
Reese, you play soccer EVERY SINGLE DAY.
No way! I play, like, five days a week. Tops.
Okay, so—FIVE out of seven days, you smell like a butt… that's been stuffed inside a moldy shoe… with some rotten vegetables.
Yeah. But only five.
I am getting seriously off track here. My point is, New York City is SO overcrowded that sometimes normal things end up in not-normal places. Like our school's playground. Which, instead of being in a normal place—like next to the parking lot—is on the roof. Five stories up. Ed. Note: (also, there's no parking lot)
And if you are insane enough to get into a contest to see who can kick a soccer ball over the rooftop fence—
It wasn't a contest! It was a bet. And the bet was I couldn't do a bicycle kick from in front of the SOUTH fence that was high enough to clear the whole NORTH fence—which was ridic hard, 'cause it was January and I was wearing snow boots. So it's totally beast that I nailed it.
Now that I think of it, Xander still owes me five bucks for that.
Like I was saying: if you're insane enough to kick your soccer ball over the rooftop fence, New York City's SO overcrowded that even if you DON'T actually take out some mean rich lady's equally mean little dog while she's walking it down 77th Street… the ball will come screaming down out of the sky and scare BOTH the mean little dog AND the mean rich lady SO MUCH that she'll march into Culvert Prep and demand to talk to whoever's in charge of not letting soccer balls fly off the roof. Ed. Note: dog was very mean EVEN BEFORE this happened (so was owner)
And THAT is how Vice Principal Bevan wound up banning soccer from the roof.
Which was totally cray! That was, like, a straight-up attack on my freedom. And my liberty. And my human rights to, like, kick soccer balls during free time.
And that's why I got into politics. Ed. Note: srsly, Reese has NO CLUE what all these words even mean
OUR APARTMENT HAS A SUPREME LEADER Ed. Note: (And Other Stuff You Should Know About Politics)
In case you're like my brother and have no idea what politics even is, it's all about who gets to decide the really important questions in a country and/or middle school. Like "Should soccer balls be banned from the roof?" Or "What if we invade Canada?"
There are a bunch of ways politics can work. But the two most common ones are "dictatorship" and "democracy."
In a dictatorship, one person decides everything. Ed. Note: (i.e., the dictator) Then everybody else has to do whatever that person says. It's VERY unfair.
Two good examples of dictatorships are North Korea and our apartment.
The dictator of our apartment is Mom. Ed. Note: Dad not happy about this But she's pretty cool about it.
It is definitely much better to live in our apartment than North Korea. For one thing, we have totally uncensored Internet access. Mostly because Mom couldn't figure out the parental control app.
Plus, she works crazy-long hours. Ed. Note: (Dad's hours are even crazier/longer) So most of the time, Ashley, our after-school sitter, is the substitute dictator. And tbh, Ashley is a total pushover. For example, last year she let Reese eat nothing but Cheezy Puffs for dinner for three straight weeks.
I am still a little surprised that didn't kill him.
It ALMOST did. By the end, I think my skin was turning orange.
The second kind of politics is a democracy, where everybody gets to vote on all the important questions.
But in a country of 320,000,000 Ed. Note: (U.S.A. population) people—or even a sixth grade of 97 people—letting everybody vote on everything is way too complicated. So instead, everybody votes on who their leaders should be, and then the leaders make the decisions. Ed. Note: (FYI: this is called "representative" democracy)
So is school a dictatorship? Or a democracy? 'Cause we defs don't have uncensored Internet access. You can't get on ANY good sites from the cafeteria Wi-Fi.
Culvert Prep is a mix. It's basically 90% dictatorship and 10% democracy.
Who's the dictator of Culvert Prep? Vice Principal Bevan?
No, it's the Head of School, Ms. Tingley. Plus Principal Spooner. Vice Principal Bevan's more like their army. Like, whenever there's rioting in the streets, they send her in to restore order.
I have no clue what you're talking about. All I know is, Mrs. Bevan's the one who banned soccer balls from the roof. And when me and Xander and Wyatt were like, "Puhhhleeeeaase let us play soccer on the roof again!" she was all, "Why don't you ask your class rep to bring it up in SG?" Ed. Note: SG = Student Government
Student Government is the 10% democracy part of Culvert Prep Middle School. SG is made up of one representative (a "rep") from each homeroom class, plus a president and a treasurer for each grade.
The class rep for Reese's homeroom is my second-best friend Carmen. Ed. Note: tied with Parvati.
So, rank is:
2. Carmen (tie)
2. Parvati (tie)
CARMEN GUTIERREZ, 6th grade class rep/second-best friend of Claudia
So your brother and his friends come up to me at lunch, and they're like, "You GOTTA get the SG to tell Mrs. Bevan to let us play soccer on the roof!"
But the thing is, I've been trying to get Culvert Prep to install solar panels on the roof FOR-EVER. Solar power's MAJOR for our future—if we don't stop burning coal and oil, the ice caps are going to melt, New York City's going to be totally underwater, and we're ALL GOING TO DROWN.
Carmen is VERY concerned about global warming. It's basically the whole reason she ran for class rep.
It's been ridic hard to get solar panels approved. Whenever I'd bring it up in SG, Mr. McDonald would be like, "There's just so much sports playing on the roof that I don't know if it's really practical." Ed. Note: Mr. McDonald = SG's faculty advisor
So I saw this soccer ban as a MAJOR opportunity. And I was like, "I'm sorry, Reese. The future of human civilization's at stake here."
And Reese was like, "So's our soccer game!"
So I said, "Maybe you should discuss it with someone else in SG."
And he was like, "Who?"
And I was like, "Duh! The class president."
And at that moment, the class president was me.
MY POLITICAL CAREER (ALL SEVEN YEARS OF IT)
Just so everybody understands how hard I worked to become sixth grade class president, here is a chart of my political career to date:
As you can see, I've been in public service over half my life. I've tried VERY hard to make Culvert Prep and the world in general a better place. And I think I've done a pretty good job.
In fact, everyone's been so happy with the job I've done that in the last two elections, I mostly ran unopposed. Ed. Note: elections are twice a year (Sept. and Jan.)
I say "mostly" because James Mantolini was also on the ballot both times. But I'm pretty sure he didn't get a single vote. Possibly not even from himself.
This is because James is out of his mind.
JAMES MANTOLINI, presidential candidate/professional crazy person
I run for president to bring attention to issues that other candidates are too scared to talk about.
Like whether some of our teachers are secretly robots.
The Secret Robot Menace was James's big issue in the last election. It was so insane that I took a picture of one of his campaign posters just in case historians of the future didn't believe me.
The election before that, James's issue was "secession."
James wanted the fifth grade to "secede" from the rest of Culvert Prep. But pretty much no fifth grader on earth has ANY IDEA what that means. And his campaign posters did not exactly help.
That whole se-so-se-whatchamacallit thing was just crazypants. When James finally explained what it was, we were like, "Wait… if the whole fifth grade quit the school, where would we go all day?"
And James was like, "Starbucks. If everybody orders a coffee, we can sit there as long as we want."
Even though secession was completely insane, in my campaign that year, I promised to study the issue to see if it was a good idea for the kids of the fifth grade. Ed. Note: (IT WASN'T)
This is because I believe it's VERY important for a president to represent EVERYONE fairly and equally. Even people who are crazy and/or think it's cool to kick soccer balls off the roof.
Which is why, when Reese and his soccer idiot friends Xander and Wyatt came to me to complain about the roof situation, I listened.
No, you didn't! You just said you'd study the issue!
WYATT TEMPLEMAN, friend of Reese/soccer idiot
Which totally meant you were going to blow us off!
XANDER BILLINGTON, friend of Reese/soccer idiot Ed. Note: (also huge idiot in general)
True dat! I's all, "Don't be frontin' dat skeezy ish wit us, Cruella da Prez! RATCHET!"
Speaking of words nobody understands, I should explain about Xander Billington. He's from a very old, very rich, and very brain-dead family. Xander's great-great-great-great-whatever-grandfather Billington came to America on the Mayflower with the original Pilgrims.
This was probably very annoying for the other Pilgrims.
When Xander started dissing me like we were in a rap battle, I stayed classy. Instead of calling all of them names, too, I said, "If you don't like the way I'm representing you as president, there's an election coming up."
What I meant by that was, "You should vote against me."
What I did NOT mean by that was, "You should run for president yourself."
Unfortunately, I did not make this clear to Reese.
REESE'S POLITICAL CAREER (ALL TWO MINUTES OF IT)
At first, I was all, "Yo, I should straight-up run for president! I'ma stone cold RULE dis hizz-ouse!"
Wyatt and I were like, "Ummm… maaaaaybe."
Because we didn't want to make Xander feel bad. But it seemed, like, not possible for him to win an election.
The thing is, Reese and I are totally cool with Xander. But a lot of people basically hate him. Ed. Note: true
People really DO like Reese, though. Ed. Note: also true Because he's super-nice to everybody. Ed. Note: EXCEPT HIS SISTER So I was like, "What if REESE runs for president?"
First, I's all, "Wuuuuut?"
But then I's all, "Aaaaite. I'ma HAMMER DOWN on dem treasurer doe." 'Cause then I be rollin' in dem Benjamins.
So Wyatt and Xander wanted me to run for president, Xander for treasurer, and Wyatt for class rep.
Which seemed like a TON of work just to play soccer on the roof.
Plus part of me was like, "I think Claudia might get mad if I ran against her." Ed. Note: OH, REALLY? DO YOU THINK???
So that night while Ashley was making us dinner, I asked Claudia what she thought of me running for president.
And she laughed at me. Like, hard. For a really long time.
I did NOT laugh at him.
ASHLEY O'ROURKE, after-school sitter/substitute dictator
Ohmygosh, Claude, you TOTALLY laughed at him! You were like, "Reese, the ONLY way you could win is if an asteroid hit Manhattan and killed everybody else who was running. Plus all the voters."
Then you both got all up in each other's business, and I had to jump in and break it up, and I couldn't focus on making dinner, so I totally burned the chicken.
Okay, fine. I laughed at him. But here's why:
Student Government is MY thing, the same way soccer is REESE'S thing. And right up until then, Reese felt the same way about SG that I felt about soccer—that it was totally pointless, he could care less about it, and he had no clue how it worked.
So for him to suddenly decide to run for president was not only completely insane, but also very mean and hurtful to me personally.
But it's not like I was going to tell Reese that.
So instead, I laughed at him.
Because it was ALSO totally hilarious. Reese trying to be president was like me running onto his soccer field in the middle of a game and trying to play quarterback: Ed. Note: goalie (whatever) the funniest thing ever for anybody watching, but a total fail for Reese (as president) and/or me (as quarterback). Ed. Note: goalie
For the record, when I went on ClickChat after dinner and told my friends, they thought it was hilarious, too.
CLICKCHAT POSTS (PRIVATE CHAT)
claudaroo Ed. Note: me you guys… Reese says he might run for president
sophie_k_nyc Ed. Note: Sophie Soccer team has a president?
claudaroo Not soccer team. Sixth grade
Parvanana Ed. Note: Parvati OMG THAT IS HILARIUS
sophie_k_nyc Think I just fainted. #MindBlown
c_2_the_g Ed. Note: Carmen Would be amazeballs to watch tho. Like seeing a beagle try to drive a car
But since part of being a leader is admitting your mistakes, I will admit that laughing at Reese was a huge mistake. Because my brother is INSANELY competitive. He's so competitive that once when I beat him at checkers, he went nuts and tried to eat the checkers.
I totally shouldn't have done that. Turns out you can't chew that kind of plastic without seriously hurting your mouth.
So making fun of Reese for wanting to be president was like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
I got seriously spun out. Like, whenever Claudia tells me she can kick my butt at something, it just gets me twice as hyped to kick HER butt. So when she laughed at me, all I wanted to do was just pwn Ed. Note: actually a word (google it) her, BAD.
I got so hyped that right after dinner, I posted on ClickChat that I was running.
- "Rodkey's comical picture of the political arena's cut and thrust is certainly timely...the parallels with campaigns on broader stages will be obvious to all."—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York:*"The scavenger hunt is a total success, as is the writing style and humor of this story.... Readers who like to laugh aloud will enjoy this book"—School Library Connection, starred review
- "Everyone--not just native New Yorkers--will enjoy this madcap, uproarious romp around the Big Apple.... It won't take long for fans of the first installment, or new fans, to drop right into the action, hilarity, and mayhem."—School Library Journal
- On Sale
- Sep 6, 2016
- Page Count
- 304 pages
- Little, Brown Books for Young Readers