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THE BOYS START THE WAR by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-385-30814-0
Publisher: Delacorte

It's not the Hatfields vs. the McCoys, but a feud nonetheless when the four Harfield brothers square off against their new neighbors, the Malloy sisters. It begins when Caroline, Edith Ann (Eddie), and Beth Malloy catch the Harfields dumping dead animals into the stream separating their properties; in response, Caroline—a consummate actress—plays dead, and as the horrified brothers watch, her sisters sadly throw her in. Once school starts, it's open war. With quick wits and inventiveness on both sides, the antagonists are evenly matched; and even when their pranks go awry, they suffer more fury (or embarrassment) than harm. Naylor has to labor hard to keep the rivalry going- -whenever it's about to die away naturally, someone decides it's too much fun to stop—so that the plot seems a little forced, even though the characters are lively and well-developed. Where will it all end? Not here—a sequel is promised. (Fiction. 10-12)