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Boys Start the War-Lib (Boy/Girl Battle #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,282 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Just when the Hatford brothers were expecting three boys to move into the house across the river, where their best friends, the Bensons, used to live, the Malloys arrive instead. Wally and his brothers decide to make Caroline and her sisters so miserable that they'll want to go back to Ohio, but they haven't counted on the ingenuity of the girls.From dead fish to dead bodi ...more
Hardcover, 129 pages
Published October 19th 1999 by Turtleback Books (first published March 1st 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,075)
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Zack K.
May 12, 2011 Zack K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the book. It was funny it had rivalry and the setting was perfect for the idea of the book. The part i like most was when the boys' dad caught caroline taking his boxer briefs. It was hilarious! the book was about when the boys' friends move out and girls move in. When the boys find out they try to chase them off to get their friends to come back.The parents of the two rival families think each of the other families kids are nice and try to get them to be friends. The boys' mom ma ...more
recommended for E410
Maybe I have a juvenile sense of humor, but I found this book really funny. As the title indicates, it's basically about boys vs girls. It doesn't get much deeper than that, but the antics between the Malloy girls and the Hartford boys are a hoot. I know that's such an old-lady way of saying things, but I can't think of a more apt expression.

To quote a letter written by one of the Hartford boys:

"So far here is what these girls have done:
1. Outpitched the boys at recess (ev
Taylor Moore
I really enjoyed this book! I originally read this series in the 4th grade and still enjoyed it more than ten years later. Naylor's series are all so very different, so it was fun to try to make connections between this series and the Shiloh trilogy and Alice series. This book, which focuses on a neighbor, boy vs. girl rivalry in which sibling alliances take turns playing pranks one another, is not only extremely funny and entertaining, but it has undertones of consequentialism. This book, like ...more
Oct 17, 2014 Rider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct 07, 2010 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 2+
Shelves: library-book
The Boys Start the War is the first of many books in this series, which is about the Hatford boys and the Malloy girls, who do everything from faking a death to stealing Mr. Hatford's underwear to make each other miserable. I really liked it because it is funny, and it is easy enough for a 2nd or 3rd grader to read. Great book!
Aug 22, 2012 Chelsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My teacher read this to me in 5th or 6th grade and it's always been a favorite! Such a fun kids book with exciting things happening all the time! Can't wait to read it to my kids!!!!
Mar 13, 2015 Meagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-alouds
I used this book as a read-aloud with my students. It is about a family with 3 boys that lives close to a family with 5 boys. The 5 boys move away, and the other 3 are eager to see who is going to move into the house. They heard that it was a family with 3 kids, and they thought that it was going to be all boys. Much to their surprise and dismay, it was 3 girls that moved in. The girls catch the boys spying on them one day, and decide to give them a real "show". This is the beginning of an elabo ...more
Cindy Birge
Jan 04, 2011 Cindy Birge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read aloud for my 3rd grade classes.
Bernini and Juliet
It was one of my favorite books as a kid.
Feb 11, 2015 Denya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved these as a kid!
Jake, Josh, Wally and Peter Hartford are horrified when their best friends, the Bensons move away. The Benson’s house is up for rent and the Hartford boys are worried that someone without any children is going move into it. That means that they won’t have enough people for a baseball team, no one to go trick-or-treating with and no one to play with. But they never realized that wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. When three girls move in next door the Hartfords realize that they need to ge ...more
The Harford boys, Jack, Josh, Peter, and Wally are sad when the Benton family (and their best friends) move to Georgia. They're hopeful that more kids will move into their house...and their wish is granted when the Malloy family with three kids all about their ages move in! Just one problem...they are all girls! Well, when the boys plan a 'welcome to the neighborhood' prank on the girls, they don't know what they are in for, or what they've started. All summer long and well into the start of sch ...more
A fun introduction to a series. One of my 3rd grade classes liked this last year.

Written in 1993, the four Hatford brothers are upset that their best friends, the five Benson boys, moved away from their home across the creek in their small WV town. Three Malloy girls with their family move in, and a war begins when the boys dump stinky dead fish, etc. in the creek by their house, and the girls see it and get even, pretending to mourn and dump their "dead" sister Caroline into the creek, all fo
Clarissa Slaton
Nov 23, 2014 Clarissa Slaton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i would give this book five stars!! this book has a lot of action. my 3rd grade teacher read it to us and when she finished, i wanted to read it for the second time. and if you like this book than you should read the rest of the books!!!!
Tracy Verdegaal
Apr 10, 2016 Tracy Verdegaal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great. I used it for a 5th grade Guided Reading group of 3 boys and 3 girls. They all loved it! It is funny and engaging and keeps the kids' attention. I highly recommend it for kids 4th grade and up.
Corbie Mumford
Jan 20, 2016 Corbie Mumford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a laugh-out-loud funny book, perfect for a read aloud to a class of children because the perspective alternates between Wally & Caroline. This allows both boys & girls to equally get into the story. When it came time to stop reading, my class begged me each day: "please, 1 more chapter!"
Jul 20, 2015 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And the Elementary Years rear its ugly head. Nah, but I love these. About as much as I love reading my own writing. Like, once upon I time, I felt so good about it but......
I love this book! Laugh out loud funny, it would make a great read-aloud. It reminds me of "This Island isn't Big Enough for the Four of Us" which is another favorite of mine.
May 19, 2014 Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great little bit from my childhood! Hilarious comedy, the plot flows well, and the relationships that begin to develop between the boys and the girls. Definitely for E10.
Mar 29, 2014 Srsmith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book several times and I still love it. Though the series was a bit repetitive. Though the pranks were hilarious.
Dec 23, 2014 Yawz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's good..I guess! But how was this written by the author who wrote Shilo? Was she high or something?
Alana S
Apr 06, 2015 Alana S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this series growing up.
Only read the first 3, didn't know there were more :(
Feb 17, 2016 Youngchai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my best childhood memories -- reading this before going to bed.
i thought it was a very funny book that boys start war haha.
Feb 04, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious. Funny for children of all elementary school ages. Even my teen was laughing as she over heard me reading. Short chapters with something funny in each one. Perfect for a little evening reading with young children. As a parent, I love that these children spend their free time climbing trees, staging theatrics, playing outdoor games, and studying bugs. It's true that things do get a little heated between the boys and the girls at times, but ultimately, each side loves the excitement of t ...more
Apr 23, 2011 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a mother-daughter bonding experience. My 8 year-old daughter recommended it to me, and we've had a great time talking about the characters and the things they did to get the others to leave. Lots of opportunities to talk about "what could they have done" or "what was a consequence of that decision".

With the story's feuding main characters, the Hatfords and Malloys, who lived on opposite sides of a small river, the author was clearly alluding to the famous feud between the Hatfield
David Ramsey
Feb 24, 2016 David Ramsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in class and it was REALLY good!
a very funny twisty turny book.loved it
Jessica Fuchs
Mar 05, 2015 Jessica Fuchs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i love this book it is kind of like....
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Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was born in Anderson, Indiana, US on January 4, 1933.

Her family were strongly religious with conservative, midwestern values and most of her childhood was spent moving a lot due to her father's occupation as a salesman.

Though she grew up during the Depression and her family did not have a lot of money, Naylor stated that she never felt poor because her family owned good boo
More about Phyllis Reynolds Naylor...

Other Books in the Series

Boy/Girl Battle (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Girls Get Even  (Boy/Girl Battle, #2)
  • Boys Against Girls (Boy/Girl Battle, #3)
  • The Girls' Revenge (Boy/Girl Battle, #4)
  • A Traitor Among the Boys (Boy/Girl Battle, #5)
  • A Spy Among the Girls (Boy/Girl Battle, #6)
  • The Boys Return (Boy/Girl Battle, #7)
  • The Girls Take Over (Boy/Girl Battle, #8)
  • Boys in Control (Boy/Girl Battle, #9)
  • Girls Rule! (Boy/Girl Battle, #10)
  • Boys Rock! (Boy/Girl Battle, #11)

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