Nov 6, 2012

Tween Tuesday: Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli

4 fudgy, chewy brownies.

Cover Love:  Yes!  I think this is a darling cover.  But it would probably be more appealing to girls rather than boys.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
I love Jerry Spinelli and liked the synopsis for this book.  It seems like it would be enjoyed by middle grade boys and girls.  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:

Jake and Lily are twins. Even though they seem pretty different—Jake is the calm one and Lily has a temper; Lily is obsessed with trains and Jake collects cool rocks—they feel exactly the same, almost like two halves of one person. When one of them gets hurt, the other can feel it. They can communicate without words. And mysteriously, every year on their birthday, they sleepwalk to a train station in the middle of the night.

But the year they turn eleven, everything changes. Their parents announce it’s time for separate bedrooms, and Jake starts hanging out with a pack of boys on the block. Lily is devastated—not to mention really, really mad. And as she struggles to make friends and get a life apart from her twin, Jake finds himself dealing with a neighborhood bully and has to decide what kind of person he really is.
Romance?: Nope.

My Thoughts:
There are not a lot of middle grade boys that show the point of view of a "mean boy."  (actually there are not a lot of middle grade books that show the point of view of a "mean girl"--most of them are just about the victims of bullies).  It was very interesting to see Jake's point of view as he became a mean boy and part of a mean gang to his redemption for himself.  I think as readers we knew all along that Bump was the true mean kid but Jake went through a period where he was able to justify his behavior because the "goober" was the one who behaved wrong.

I am so glad that Lily had her grandpa around to help her thought this period of transition and growth.  I felt it was great of the author to show us that the girl was the one being left behind--normally girls place more importance on friends than boys do, so for Jake to grow up a little faster and need soemthing more than their twin-ness was a good twist.  Lily was so lost when Jake left her behind though!  But, he was the older twin so she just needed a little time to catch up.

Jerry Spinelli did a great job writing both Lily and Jake's voices.  Sometimes an author is not good at that--he is!  Both of their voices were unique and strong.  I enjoyed reading both of them.

To Sum Up:  This book had a lot of heart, a lot of growing and a lot of emotions.  It is a great middle school read!  I bought two copies for my middle school and will be book talking them.  I think many readers will enjoy this story!

Book bought for my middle school library (egalley from Edelweiss which I didn't get read before it expired!).

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