The Twin in the Tavern


Book: The Twin in the Tavern

Author: Barbara Brooks Wallace

Publisher: iUniverse, republished 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0689318467 Hardcover   

ISBN-10: 0689318464 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0595410675 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0595410677 Paperback

Language level:  1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 8 – 12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: Mystery

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     Wallace,Barbara Brooks. The Twin in the Tavern (Published in 1993 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers; republished in 1995 by Aladdin Paperbacks, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY  10020).  Not yet turned eleven year old Taddy Buntz, who has lived with his Uncle and Aunt Buntz outside of Alexandria (VA?), was told that he was an orphan.  Then Uncle and Aunt Buntz die of a dreaded disease.  The last thing his uncle tells him is that he is in terrible danger and should look for his twin to find out who he really is.  When the villainous Ebenezer (Neezer) Scrat, proprietor of the Tail of the Dog tavern, and his doltish friend Lucky come to steal furniture out of the Buntz house, they kidnap Taddy and put him to work in the tavern.

     There he meets another kidnapped boy named Beetle, and is then sent to work in the mysterious house of the rich Mrs. Mainyard that may unlock his hidden past, as he sees a boy named Jeremy who looks exactly like him and could be the twin his uncle told him about.  What really happened to Taddy’s parents?  Why is Taddy in such great danger?  And will he be able to locate his twin to learn his true identity?  This Dickensian novel is filled with orphans, musty passages, mysterious relatives, and despicable villains.  It also has red herrings and a surprise twist at the end.  The characters and plot will draw the reader into the story, making the book hard to put down.  With enough mystery to keep even adult readers riveted, it’s a great read for any age.  This is one of the best and most engaging books for young readers that I have read in a long while.

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