Sweet Valley Twins #4: Choosing Sides

The Moral of the Story: Oh, hey, unpopular kids have talents, too!

The Big Deal: Basketball and Booster tryouts


The Unicorns have gotten the okay to start a middle school cheerleading squad, but Ms. Langberg tells them they have to have open auditions. Liz is shocked when Amy says she wants to try out, and Jessica can’t believe people like Amy even have the nerve to sign up. Liz tries as hard as she can to talk Amy out of auditioning, but Amy says she’s become a master at the baton and she’s confident she’ll get on the squad.

At the first round of tryouts, Amy pretends she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Liz assumes she’s changed her mind. Meanwhile, on the other side of the gym, the boys are trying out for the basketball team. Ken Matthews enters the gym and Bruce Patman immediately starts calling him “midget” and teasing him. Ken is short, you guys. Coach Cassels makes things even worse when he mistakes a tall kid for Ken, because Ken’s dad was his favorite player ever and Mr. Matthews was tall.

Ken is really bad at basketball, but Liz takes him home with her and gets Steven to show him a few things. He still totally sucks, but then Liz has the brilliant idea of having Ken practice with a tennis ball. For some reason, Ken finds this easier and pretty soon he and Liz are having a grand time bouncing around their tennis balls. And that’s when Bruce rides by on his bike and makes fun of Ken for playing tennis-ball with a girl.

The next day at school, Bruce tells everyone that Liz and Ken are a couple. And everyone cares. Jessica is totally freaked out about how this makes her look, and Amy is sad because she kind of likes Ken. Liz refuses to set everyone straight because she’s stubborn like that.

Lila calls Amy one night and tells her not to try out for the Boosters, and she’s scandalized when Amy hangs up on her. As payback, Jessica forges a note from Ken to Amy, telling her to drop out. Then she writes a love letter from Amy to Ken. Amy is smart enough to know her note is from the Unicorns, but Ken is kind of dumb and he gets all freaked out when he thinks Amy’s in love with him.

Liz overhears Lila and Ellen talking about the letters and about how they’re going to get that rotten Amy Sutton once and for all, so she goes running off to find Amy and warn her. She finds Ken along the way and explains the love letter thing to him, and then she finds Amy and tells her the Unicorns are planning to do something awful to her so she should just drop out of auditions. Amy ain’t havin’ that.

The Unicorns call each girl forward to do a “he’s our man” cheer with them. Their big plan to “get Amy” consists of telling her to cheer for Ken and then making her do the cheer alone. Meanwhile, Ken is on the other side of the gym for basketball tryouts. While Bruce Patman points and laughs at Amy, Ken steals the ball and does super awesome things with it. Amy does the cheer again and then goes into a big baton routine. She ends with a flourish just as Ken sinks the basketball. Ken makes the team and the Unicorns beg Amy to be on the Boosters.


“I’m really sorry, Ken.”

“What for? You didn’t write it.”

Elizabeth nodded. “I know, but Jessica did. So I feel partly to blame for it. That’s one of the consequences of being a twin.”

That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.

The Cover: Amy’s shirt is like five times too big for her, and holy cow, mom jeans.

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  • rachierach March 9, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    It’s a shame that Amy Sutton turned out to be a boyfriend-stealing slut years later…


  • MV March 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Heh, how funny that a few years later, Amy would drop Ken like a hot potato after he temporarily lost his vision


  • Amiee March 15, 2011 at 2:44 am

    I thought they were maybe going to do a role reversal and Ken was also going to be awesome at the baton.
    I grew up with this series first, so was always disappointed at the personality turn Amy took in SVH.


  • S March 16, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    My highlight of everyday is when you post a new recap!


  • pibetaalpha May 18, 2011 at 1:49 am

    This book is the SVT version of Power Play.


  • pibetaalpha September 3, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Or Ms. Quarterback, with setting people up via a cheer to be heard by all in the gymnasium!


  • iy December 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    liz looks really pretty on this cover


  • mehdisufi April 15, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Can someone do me a favor and send the pdf files of the Sweet Valley Twins? My email is msoofloo@yahoo.com


  • KannaChan July 6, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Does anyone know what the actual name of the teams are? Cheerleaders usually have the same team name as the sport’s teams, like the Toros and Clovers. So are the Sweet Valley Middle School sports teams also called the Boosters?


    Shannon Reply:

    That’s a good question! As far as I know, we never hear any team names.


  • KannaChan July 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Shannon (that’s my real name too! :D) I think the Rockets would be a good name since the cheer squad are already called the Boosters. Get it? Rocket boosters? XD


  • Steffy September 30, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Hello, I just wanted to share, that I read this in spanish, and “The Boosters” translation was “Olimpias” like in olympics super lame! so knowing it was Boosters was kinda relieve.
    I hate Amy´s clothes on the cover btw
    Loved the dark purplish uniforms


  • jenstone December 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I always thought that this book was the middle school version of Wrong Kind of Girl-where Annie Whitman makes the squad and ends up with shy Ricky.

    Its hilarious that Jessica calls Ken a “puny kid” when 4 years later he would be a “total hunk.” LOL. Very uplifting message for all the scrawny kids i guess…??


  • Alex Kennedy August 17, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Why is it that these activities are never properly supervised by a teacher? The situation was the same at SVH. It should be for the teacher to decide. I hated Jessica so much for the way she conducted herself in “Power Play.” There was also the one where she did not want Molly (?) to be on the squad because she had a “reputation.” I have never been to a school in which the students get to decide who should me a team member. Jessica embarks upon such colossal power trips.


  • Jessica is Evil March 31, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Ken grew up to be one of the most popular guys in SVH. He even saw the twins at the same time – I think Elizabeth took a break from Todd or something. When Jess found out about the relationship, she was obviously upset – forgetting all the times she cheated and stole someone else’s boyfriend. She really was quite cheap and loose. She is like the town bike. I wonder how much mileage she has? Her favourite type of egg is probably overeasy.


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