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The Boys Start the War (Boy/Girl Battle) by…
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The Boys Start the War (Boy/Girl Battle) (1993)

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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The Boys Start the War by the award winning Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is a chapter book for the elementary level child. Boys and girls alike will enjoy this funny first installment, and a fairly accurate portrayal of parents will have adults who may be reading it out loud enjoying this tale too.

The four Hatford boys have always lived across from their best friends, the Benson brothers. After the Bensons move out of state, the Malloy family moves in. What is the downside to a new family living there? The Malloy’s have three – ugh – girls. In an effort to make the Malloy family leave so the Benson family can come back (excellent kid logic), the Hatford boys play a prank on the Malloy girls, hoping to gross them out enough to leave. Instead of leaving, the Malloy girls retaliate, and the war begins. Pranks are played back and forth, with the parents left completely unsuspecting (aside from an underpants incident).

As the first book in a 12-part series, The Boys Start the War has a rather unfulfilling conclusion; it is meant to be part of a series, so it takes place over only one month. It does a very good job, however, of enticing the reader into delving back into the Hatford/Malloy war.
For ages 8-12 ( )
  BolstlerJ | Nov 1, 2011 |
A book that made me think of a trademark children's story. Simple plot, very familiar in children's literature, lots of action focused on children, set in middle class suburbia. The story is about the Hatford boys who are missing their friends, the Bensons, having just moved out of the house across the street. A new family moves in, but their hopes are dashed when they discover that the new kids are all girls! They're so disappointed that they hatch a plot: they'll make the girls so miserable that they want to leave. The girls aren't ones to take pranks lying down, though, and before long an all out war is declared.

Naylor has written an easy story that evokes the playfulness and excitement of childhood. Nothing innovative or original here, but it is fun. I laughed out loud a few times, and was drawn by the happy nostalgia it induced in me. Who doesn't like a good "boy versus girl" story? Naylor captures the tension between the sexes that exists between young children, where they are drawn together and repulsed at the same time, conscious of the other gender as a slightly alien species, but not. She also portrays the feel of a child's day, lazy and energetic at once. This is a great book to help hook children into the habit of leisure reading. ( )
  nmhale | Sep 8, 2010 |
A very funny chapter book - both my 9-year-old and I enjoyed this one! This is the first book in a series. The four Hatford brothers live in a small town in West Virginia. Their best friends, the Bensons, have just moved to Georgia, and the Hatfords can't wait to see who moves in across the river. However, their excitement quickly wanes when they find out that the Malloy family has three daughters. Girls?!?!? What fun can that be? The Hatfords decide to play tricks on the Malloys to try to convince them to move back to Ohio, but the girls are pretty crafty too. The result is a "war" that's filled with laughs. ( )
  porch_reader | Feb 13, 2010 |
this is a funny series about three girls who move across the street from four boys and they instantly decide to be enemies! you'll laugh out loud while you wait and see what pranks they'll pull on each other next!! ( )
  jfoster_sf | Jun 3, 2008 |
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There is a double-book with both "The Boys Start the War" and "The Girls Get Even", it is a completely different book. PLEASE do not combine it with this one.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440418410, Paperback)

A Newbery Award-winning Author
Children's Book Awards: Maryland, West Virginia, and South Carolina

Just when the Hatford brothers were expecting three boys to move into the house across the river where their best friends used to live, the Malloy girls arrive instead. Wally and his brothers decide to make Caroline and her sisters so miserable that they'll want to go back to Ohio.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:28 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Disgusted that a family with three girls moves into the house across the river, nine-year-old Wally and his three brothers declare a practical joke war on the girls.

» see all 2 descriptions

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