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Double Dutch

Double Dutch

For Ages: 10 - 14
  • reading group guide
  • 7awards

Delia loves Double Dutch more than just about anything, and she's really good at it -- so good she and her teammates have a shot at winning the World Double Dutch Championships. Delia would die if she couldn't jump -- but Delia has a secret, and it could keep her off the team next year.
Delia's friend Randy has a secret too, one that has him lonely and scared. And while Delia and Randy struggle to keep their secrets, their school is abuzz with rumors about what malicious mischief the terrible Tolliver twins -- who just may have a secret of their own -- are planning.
Delia and Randy's secrets collide on what should be the happiest day of Delia's life, and the collision threatens to destroy their friendship. Why can't life be as easy for Delia as Double Dutch?
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  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 192 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689842313 | 
  • January 2004 | 
  • Grades 5 - 9 | 
  • Lexile 760L
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List Price $6.99
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"Look out, girl, here come the Tolliver twins! Have mercy! They look like they're ready to bite something." Delia pulled her books close to her body and tried to avoid what looked like was going to be a direct confrontation with the two most feared boys at the school -- Tabu and Titan Tolliver.

"Or kill something," Charlene whispered, eyes wide with real concern. "I wouldn't want to be alone in a room with them. Every time they pass me, I get so scared, I feel like I'm gonna wet my pants!"

"That's disgusting!" Delia said, laughing, as she glanced at Charlene.

"I ain't lyin'! I'm scared for real! I heard... see more

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Double Dutch
by Sharon M. Draper

About the Book

Delia loves Double Dutch jump roping. And she’s good at it. Really good. But Delia is using her success to mask an embarrassing secret: She doesn’t know how to read. Her friend Randy has a secret too. His dad has been missing for weeks and he’s almost out of money, but he’s afraid to ask for help.

These two storylines collide at the World Double Dutch Championship as Delia and Randy are also forced to deal with the very real threat of violence at school, coming from two of their fellow students, the menacing Tolliver twins, who also have a secret: They like to make people scared. But will they act on their threats?

Discussion Topics

1. Double Dutch begins with a discussion of the characters’ fear of the Tolliver twins. Trace how the idea of fear and the result of fear are developed throughout the story.

2. The twins use intimidation and fear to terrorize the school. Analyze the names Titan and Tabu. Why are their names intimidating? What other factors about the twins make them seem dangerous and deadly?

3. Why is the television program, which the twins appear on an effective way to increase their negative reputation? Discuss the effect of these kinds of talk shows.

4. Yolanda is a humorous character because she tells tall tales an see more

About the Author

Sharon M. Draper
Photo Credit:

Sharon M. Draper

Sharon M. Draperis a New York Times bestselling author who has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire. Her Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and has been a New York Times bestseller for more than a year. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at




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