By Geoff Rodkey
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Geoff Rodkey delivers another pitch-perfect ultra-modern comedy told as oral history with texts, screenshots and smartphone photos. When Claudia initiates a citywide scavenger hunt to raise money for charity, it’s not just the twins’ opposing teams that run riot. With the whole school racing to trade in sights seen for points to score front row tickets at Madison Square Garden, they may not get to the finish line with their dignity–and social lives–intact!
Table of Contents
A Sneak Peek of The Tapper Twins Run for President
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AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE FIRST ANNUAL CULVERT PREP MIDDLE SCHOOL SCAVENGER HUNT FOR CHARITY
which took place in
New York City, NY
Saturday, October 25
(and absolutely DID NOT cause a riot)
interviews conducted by
Vice Principal Joanna Bevan
Eric S. Tapper, Esquire
And anyone else I forgot
Media inquiries: contact Claudia Tapper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lawsuits/subpoenas/etc: Eric Tapper (email@example.com)
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!
I HAVE AN EXCELLENT IDEA (WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY BROTHER)
I came up with the idea for the scavenger hunt while taking the M79 bus across Central Park to school.
You didn't come up with it! It was MY idea!
You just ripped it off. And you never once gave me credit!
Do you seriously want credit for it? After everything that happened?
Oh, yeah… Good point. Never mind.
By the way, for anyone who doesn't already know, Reese and I are twins.
Which is weird. Because we are not twin-like at all. In fact, we are VERY different.
I don't want to get into HOW we're different, because I believe every person is special and unique—and if you put a label on someone, it's like forcing them into a tiny box where they have no room to move and can't just be themselves.
Which, obviously, is not cool.
Although if I absolutely HAD to put labels on us, I would be The Smart One.
And Reese would be The Sporty One.
Or possibly The Smelly One.
Or maybe even The One Who Wastes His Life Playing Video Games While His Sister Is Busy Trying To Make The World A Better Place.
See what I mean about labels? They are very unfair.
Even when they're true.
Back to the M79 bus.
Reese and I were sitting together, and I was writing a speech for Student Government about my proposal to do a fundraiser for the Manhattan Food Bank.
The fact that some people in New York City don't have enough food to eat REALLY bothers me. Especially when you consider how well off a lot of families at Culvert Prep are. It just seems completely unfair and wrong that kids could go hungry in one part of the city while people like Athena Cohen have so much money they can fly to Bermuda every weekend on a private jet.
And as president, I'd decided I should do something about this.
You realize you're only president of the sixth grade, right?
Like, you're not president of the whole city?
Okay, A) Duh.
B) New York City has a MAYOR, not a president.
And C) have you ever heard the term "Think globally, act locally"?
Maybe. Was that in a Burger King commercial?
I am almost completely sure it wasn't.
Oh. Then no.
That is just sad, Reese. Seriously.
Back to the bus. I was working on my speech. And Reese was babbling about some MetaWorld thing.
MetaWorld is, like, the greatest video game in the history of the universe. It's not even one game. It's more like fifty different games all skrudged Ed. Note: not an actual word together.
And one of them is MetaHunt, which is this super-massive scavenger hunt. Only it's MUCH cooler than a regular scavenger hunt, because you can kill other players and take all their stuff. So if you kill enough people, you don't even have to find any of the stuff yourself.
I'd been playing a ton of MetaHunt, and it got me thinking how awesome it'd be to do a scavenger hunt for real all over New York City.
We couldn't, like, actually kill each other. But it'd still be cool.
So when Claudia was like, "Shut up, Reese! I'm writing my Student Government speech!"
I was like, "You should have the SG do a scavenger hunt! For the whole school!"
And Claudia was like, "That is the DUMBEST idea—heeeeey, wait a minute…"
And that's basically how it all started.
SCAVENGER HUNT FEVER GRIPS CULVERT PREP
So, this is Chapter 4.
You might be wondering why there's no Chapter 2 or 3.
There used to be. And personally, I thought they were fascinating.
But everybody Ed. Note: Sophie, Parvati, Carmen, and Mom who read the first draft said they were incredibly boring.
So I got rid of them. But in case you're wondering, Chapter 2 was about the speech I gave that got the Student Government to pass a resolution creating the First Annual Culvert Prep Middle School Scavenger Hunt For Charity.
Not to brag, but it was a very effective speech. I quoted both Miranda Fleet AND Gandhi.
Chapter 3 was about all the planning we did to put the hunt together. By "we," I mostly mean me and Akash Gupta, my co-chair on the Scavenger Hunt Committee. And also Vice Principal Bevan, because she had to approve everything.
Akash is in eighth grade. He's the older brother of one of my best friends, Ed. Note: (Parvati) and he's basically a genius—although tbh, that can make him kind of hard to work with.
AKASH GUPTA, co-chair of Scavenger Hunt Committee
I can't believe you cut Chapter 3! That was the best chapter!
I know, right?! But everybody else thought it was death.
People are idiots. It's the same way with coding. Everybody wants to play Exploding Cows. But nobody cares how it gets made.
And planning that scavenger hunt was seriously complicated! Especially after you quit and I had to do everything myself.
I did NOT quit! It's just that once I decided I wanted to PLAY as well as PLAN the hunt, Mrs. Bevan made me resign as co-chair to avoid any appearance of corruption.
Oh, sure. Just keep telling yourself that. Whatever lets you sleep at night, quitter.
FYI, this is what I mean when I say Akash can be hard to work with.
Here's what happened: at first, I was not planning to be in the hunt at all. But one of the things Akash and I had to do was come up with prizes for the winning teams.
And since Mrs. Bevan wouldn't let us spend any serious money, second and third prize wound up being kind of lame.
I'm sorry, but a $20 Starbucks gift card? When there's four players on a team? It's ridiculous! You can't even get everybody grande Frappuccinos for that kind of money.
And third place was even worse. Those Culvert Prep pencil cases are total crap. They're, like, ten for a dollar.
Mrs. Bevan's a complete cheapskate.
Wait, don't print that. Ed. Note: forgot to take this out—sorry, Akash!
But first prize was a whole other story. Allegra Bell has a dad with some kind of big job at Madison Square Garden. And Akash convinced Allegra to get her dad to donate four front-row seats to ANY EVENT at the Garden as a first prize.
Which was completely, insanely, amazingly, incredibly, and in all other ways TOTALLY AWESOME.
Because the list of upcoming events at MSG included not just Knicks games, Rangers games, and some wrestling thing that a bunch of the fifth grade boys were into, but also Fiddy K, Deondra, AND Miranda Fleet concerts.
Which was huge for me. Miranda Fleet is not only the world's greatest singer-songwriter, she's also my idol and the one person besides the president whose job I want when I grow up. So the chance to see her live, from the FRONT ROW… was something I absolutely did not want to pass up.
Pretty much everybody at Culvert Prep felt the same way. Once word got out about the front-row seats, interest in the scavenger hunt basically exploded.
SOPHIE KOH, best friend of Claudia
People went NUTS for those tickets. It was all anybody talked about for days.
PARVATI GUPTA, second-best friend of Claudia Ed. Note: (tied with Carmen)
Can I just say, when I heard I could get front-row seats to Deondra? I practically peed my pants. She is TOTALLY AMAZING.
CARMEN GUTIERREZ, second-best friend of Claudia Ed. Note: (tied with Parvati)
I had a real moral dilemma. Because I seriously didn't know whether I wanted to see Miranda Fleet or Deondra more. But either way, I was all, "SQUEEEEE!"
At first, a lot of my friends were like, "It's a scavenger hunt—only we can't kill people and take their stuff? What's the point?"
But when they found out they could get free tickets to the Knicks, or Fiddy K, they were like, "BA-DA-ZING!" Ed. Note: not actually a word
WYATT TEMPLEMAN, friend of Reese Ed. Note: (also minor idiot)
I was totally psyched. I heard if you sit in the front row at a Knicks game, the players will, like, actually sweat on you. That would be SO sweet. Ed. Note: NO IT WOULDN'T (eeeew)
XANDER BILLINGTON, friend of Reese Ed. Note: (also MAJOR idiot)
I's all, "FIDDY K IN DA HIZZZZ-OUSE! I'M'A HAMMER DOWN ON DAT!"
Dem free tix wuz BEAST, yo.
FYI, it's important to know this about Xander Billington: he's not only a major idiot, he's also from one of the oldest families in America. Apparently, the Billingtons came over from England with the original Pilgrims on the Mayflower. Whenever I think about this, I feel really bad for the other Pilgrims.
The tickets were beast and all, but it wasn't even about that with me. I just wanted to win. Because I'm a really competitive person. Ask anybody on my soccer team—I get fired up just for scrimmages!
And there just aren't a ton of chances to pwn the whole school in something. Ed. Note: pwn is actually a word (go figure)
Except for Battle of the Books. Which is seriously unfair. 'Cause the only way you can win that is to, like, y'know…
Yeah. So that's not a good situation for me. But a scavenger hunt? Totally my thing.
Scavenger Hunt Fever blew up so huge that it even infected the Fembots.
I should explain about the Fembots.
Actually, no. I shouldn't. Because as sixth grade president, it's my job to represent everyone in our grade fairly and equally. Even Fembots.
It would be VERY unpresidential of me to badmouth anybody.
So I'm going to let Sophie do it.
Okay, so it's basically like… if Satan and the absolutely worst woman on Violent Housewives had a baby, it'd be a Fembot. They're this group of girls at Culvert who are either crazy rich and think they're all that, like Athena Cohen and Ling Chen. Or they're total wannabes, like Meredith and Clarissa.
I don't think the Fembots even cared about the tickets. I mean, Athena's dad can practically BUY Madison Square Garden. I think they just didn't like the idea that something might happen at Culvert that wasn't all about them.
Or maybe it was because all the cute seventh grade boys were doing it.
Whatever it was, the day after we announced the tickets, Parvati and I were talking in English class about whether I should try to be in the scavenger hunt.
It was a tough call, because I was totally desperate to see Miranda Fleet from the front row—but Akash and I were about to start putting the list of items together. And I knew it'd be totally unfair if I was the person who both made up the list AND searched for the things on it.
I was asking Parvati what she thought I should do, and Athena Cohen overheard us. She turned around in her chair and said in this incredibly snotty voice, "Do you ACTUALLY THINK you have a prayer of winning those tickets? What are you going to do—ride around Manhattan on your little pink scooters?"
That was SO ridiculous. We haven't ridden those scooters since, like, third grade.
But that's typical Athena. Mentioning them was her way of saying, "You are little peasants who have to ride around on scooters, and I am fabulously wealthy and own my own jet."
So I was all, "What are you going to do, Athena—have your butler carry you around on his shoulders?"
And she, like, curled her lip and went, "Whatever it takes, Poverty."
I swear she actually pronounced it that way—like, "Poverty" instead of "Parvati."
I know. I was there. It was beyond vile.
And I turned to you, and I was all, "OMG, Claude—you HAVE to be on our team. Because NOW IT'S PERSONAL."
I could not have agreed more.
So I went to Mrs. Bevan, and she said as long as I resigned from the Scavenger Hunt Committee before we started making up the list, it'd be fine.
So I formally stepped down as co-chair and devoted all my attention to building a team awesome enough to beat the Fembots and win the whole thing.
Which turned out to be kind of a major headache.
WE ASSEMBLE AN AWESOME TEAM (AFTER A SLIGHTLY HUGE ARGUMENT)
It was Akash's idea for the scavenger hunt to have four-person teams. This seemed perfect, because it meant me, Sophie, Parvati, and Carmen could be one team—which we called Team Melting Pot on account of our ethnic diversity. Ed. Note: Asian American, Indian American, Cuban American, Miscellaneous American (me)
But unfortunately, the scavenger hunt was on a Saturday. And on Saturdays, Sophie is way overscheduled.
I have ballet from 9 to 11 and conversational Korean from 2 to 4. But that wasn't even the problem. The problem was I had a violin recital that day. And there was, like, no way I could skip it. I've been practicing the Concerto in G FOR-E-VER.
I could totally respect that, even though I was very sad. Not only because Sophie would've been a huge asset, but also because she's my best friend on the planet.
So we needed a fourth person for Melting Pot. And Carmen, Parvati, and I had a real difference of opinion about who it should be.
Personally, I thought we should look for someone with skills we didn't have. For example, it seemed like a good idea to recruit a boy in case we had to find boy-specific stuff. Ed. Note: boy-specific stuff = comic books, Pokémon cards, anything gross, etc.
And I thought a sporty, athletic boy would be particularly good, because Parvati and Carmen and I are more indoor types.
Plus, it seemed like since we were all Americans, it'd be smart to get someone who was foreign-born, just in case we needed an "outsider's perspective."
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
- May 3, 2016
- Page Count
- 288 pages
- Little, Brown Books for Young Readers