September 23, 2012

Jake and Lily - by Jerry Spinelli

Twins!  That is so cool, except when it isn't.  Jake and Lily are no ordinary twins, they have an extra-special connection, and can sense things about each other.  They can't even play hide-and-seek, because they always know where the other is hiding.  You'd think a special connection like that would keep them close forever, but that all changes when Jake finds some new friends, a local gang that takes him away from Lily, and away from the nice, quiet life he knew.  Can Lily find a way to get her brother back?  Can Jake save himself before it's too late?  And where does an old ex-hippy grandfather fit in?  Through chapters told in each character's own voice, you will find a satisfying answer to all of these questions, and will close the book with a smile on your face.

Spinelli's latest is a bit different than his usual books, a bit more... normal.  I like his odd writing style in books such as Stargirl, Wringer, Loser, and Maniac Magee, but there's something nice about this book, as it's easy to read and just plain enjoyable. You'd almost think Sharon Creech wrote it, if you didn't see the cover!  The "Spinelli Factor" comes in with a subplot about bullying, which is a very powerful lesson for both the characters, and the reader.

This is a nice story, but one that touches on some difficult questions about growing up, the friends you make, and the consequences of the choices we make.

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