Cover image for A traitor among the boys
A traitor among the boys
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
118 pages ; 22 cm
Despite a New Year's resolution to be nice to their neighbors the Malloy girls, the Hatford boys find themselves continuing their rivalry and war of practical jokes.
General Note:
Sequel to: The girls' revenge.
Reading Level:
720 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.7 4.0 31156.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.8 7 Quiz: 21529.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Book 5 in the Boys-Girls Battle Series A Newbery Award-winning Author After all the trouble at Christmas, the Hatford boys make a New Year's resolution to treat the Malloy girls like sisters. But who says you can't play tricks on sisters? The girls will need to stay one step ahead of the boys, and they are willing to pay big-time for advance information. But which boy has loose lips? 720L (AR) For ages 9-12

Author Notes

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was born in Anderson, Indiana on January 4, 1933. She received a bachelor's degree from American University in 1963. Her first children's book, The Galloping Goat and Other Stories, was published in 1965. She has written more than 135 children and young adult books including Witch's Sister, The Witch Returns, The Bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel, A String of Chances, The Keeper, Walker's Crossing, Bernie Magruder and the Bats in the Belfry, Please Do Feed the Bears, and The Agony of Alice, which was the first book in the Alice series. She has received several awards including the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Night Cry and the Newberry Award for Shiloh.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. The Hatford boys' New Year's resolution is "the girls can stay . . . but only if they play by our rules." Their mother insists that they "treat those girls as though they were your sisters." Okay, but somehow the boys' interpretation owes more to sibling rivalry than to brotherly love. The one weak link is young Peter, who doesn't understand the rivalry, openly likes the girls, and sees nothing wrong with sitting in their kitchen eating homemade cookies and answering questions about his brothers' plans. Readers will find themselves laughing out loud at the pranks, the conversations, and one unforgettably embarrassing moment. The high-flying humor is juxtaposed with the budding affection between Josh and Beth and the way all the children pull together during a blizzard. The fifth entry in Naylor's refreshing series chronicling the feud between the Hatfords and the Malloys. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-The fifth installment in Naylor's series about two feuding families in small-town West Virginia. Strongly encouraged by their mother, the Hatford boys make a New Year's resolution to treat the Malloy girls like sisters. But the boys reason that brothers and sisters sometimes fight, don't they? Thus, the war resumes. However, this time it is complicated by the youngest Hatford brother, Peter, who is easily persuaded by homemade cookies and other sweets to reveal his brothers' plans. Snowball fights, lima-bean brownies, a community play featuring two members of each family, and a climactic blizzard that brings all seven children together follow in the next few weeks. Fans of the series and newcomers alike will enjoy this entertaining read and the mischievous pranks the two groups play on one another. The children are likable, full of energy, and evenly matched so that each side has its wins and losses. Those who enjoyed the girl/boy feuds in Gregory Maguire's Seven Spiders Spinning (Clarion, 1994), and Gary Greer's This Island Isn't Big Enough for the Four of Us (HarperCollins, 1989) will relish this series.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



New Year's Resolution Okay, then, it's decided. The girls can stay," Jake said, looking around the breakfast table, where six different boxes of cereal were scattered. "But only," he added, his mouth full of Frosted Flakes, "if they play by our rules." As though they had anything to do with the Malloys staying in or leaving West Virginia. The first week of January had passed, and the boys had still not made their New Year's resolutions. Mrs. Hatford had given an order: they were not to leave the kitchen until each had decided how he would improve as a human being in the 365 days ahead. Jake, Josh, Wally, and Peter decided it would be easier to come up with one joint resolution they could all do together: they would let the Malloy girls stay in the house across the river where their best friends, the Bensons--all boys--used to live. Mrs. Hatford came into the kitchen just then to get the watering can for her fern. "Well?" she said. "Do I hear four good resolutions in the making?" "No, but we have one really good one that we'll all do together," said Josh, Jake's eleven-year-old twin. Their mother looked cautiously about the table. "Okay, I'm listening." Wally Hatford, age nine, who was sitting beside seven-year-old Peter, the youngest, stuffed another bite of toast into his mouth so that he wouldn't be the one to answer, because he could almost predict what his mom was going to say. "We've decided," said Jake, "that we'll let the Malloys live in Buckman, if they want to, after their year is up." Mrs. Hatford slowly removed her glasses and her eyes traveled from Jake to Josh to Wally to Peter. "Let them?" she asked in disbelief. "Are they renting their house from you?" "What we mean," said Josh, "is that we won't make things hard for them anymore." Mrs. Hatford focused on Wally next. "Meaning . . . ?" she asked. It always happened this way: Wally got the hard questions. "Meaning that we won't dump dead fish and birds on their side of the river to make them think it's polluted," Wally said miserably. Peter nodded vigorously. "Or dead squirrels," he said. "Don't forget the squirrels." Their mother put one hand on the back of a chair to steady herself, and finally came around and sat down on its seat. Hard. "Do you boys mean to sit here and tell me that you actually tried to drive the Malloys out of Buckman? That you tried to get them to move back to Ohio?" Wally thought it over. Was this a trick question? "Yep," he said. "Why?" "Because we wanted the Bensons to come back," Josh told her. "They were the best friends we ever had." "And you thought--you thought--" Mrs. Hatford began, "that if you drove the Malloys away, the Bensons would return?" "Something like that," said Jake, looking a little chagrined. "We thought it might help, anyway." "Are you completely, positively out of your minds?" Mrs. Hatford yelled. "Have you lost every ounce of common sense you were born with? Did it ever occur to you that the decision will be based on whether the Bensons like it well enough to stay in Georgia, and not on what is happening up here to their house?" "Well, if they lost their renters, we thought they'd at least consider coming back," said Josh. Mrs. Hatford slumped in the chair and closed her eyes for a moment. "All right," she said weakly. "Let's hear it. What else did you do?" The boys leaned their elbows on the table and thought about it--Jake and Josh in their sweatpants and T-shirts, Wally in his racing-car pj's, and Peter inhis Bambi pajamas with a tail on the seat of thepants. "We howled outside their house once when the girls were alone," Wally ventured, probably the least offensive thing they had done. "We locked Caroline in the toolshed," said Peter. Mrs. Hatford gasped. "But we let her out when we thought she was getting rabid," Wally said quickly. Their mother could only stare. "We messed up the pumpkin chiffon pie their mother sent over and spied on Beth's bedroom and got them lost in the woods," said Jake. Mrs. Hatford buried her face in her hands. "What else?" she asked, her voice high and tight. Wally felt miserable seeing his mom that way. The four brothers exchanged anxious looks. "That's about it," said Wally. Mrs. Hatford dropped her hands again. "I want a full confession!" she demanded. "Don't leave out a single thing." The boys sighed in unison and tried to think some more. "We took a worm when they invited us over at Thanksgiving and put it on Caroline's plate," said Jake. "And we were going to dump a can of worms on them one night in the cemetery, but they never showed up," Josh remembered. "And how about the night we trapped Caroline in the cellar of Oldakers' Bookstore and she couldn't get out?" said Wally, smiling a little as he remembered, then just as suddenly wiping the smile off his face. Slowly Mrs. Hatford stood up. "I am surprised, frankly, that the Malloys are still here. I am surprised that Jean and George are speaking to us at all!" "Well, it's not as though they never did anything to us!" said Jake. "They've done plenty!" "And all of it deserved, I imagine," Mrs. Hatford said, just as her husband wandered into the kitchen for his second cup of coffee. He looked curiously about him. "What did I miss?" he asked. "Don't ask," said Mrs. Hatford. "Don't ask." Excerpted from A Traitor among the Boys by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.