Summary: Twin Cities
Twins Luisa and Fernando find their paths diverging as they enter sixth grade. Luisa will attend middle school in the US just across the border from Fernando’s school in Mexico. There, they face different but equally pressing challenges that threaten to tear them apart.
I really enjoyed this book. There’s so much ground covered as we follow Luisa and Fernando through their daily routines. With side-by-side depictions of both kids’ parallel lives, the author showcases the differences in their struggles.
For Luisa, who has always been good at school, attending a US school proves challenging because her knowledge and abilities don’t seem to measure up to her schoolmates who’ve been in the US education system for longer. She has to study for longer periods, which is tougher, considering her long commute. This means she has less energy and patience for her brother’s antics. Fernando, on the other hand is suddenly friendless because most of his friends who said they’d stay in Mexicali changed paths at the last minute and now attend Luisa’s school. He eats lunch alone and falls into a friendship with a questionable character at school.
I love the way the illustrations (which are gorgeous) celebrate Mexican culture, living, and traditions. The author mentions that food is a huge part of Mexican culture and it’s so well depicted throughout the book with mouthwatering illustrations and all the lovely places the kids, their friends, and their family eat at throughout the story.
Finally, having a sense of belonging and the twin relationship are central to this story. Fernando loves being a twin and would do everything with his sister if he could, so it upsets him more when they start to drift apart and he ends up in a toxic friendship. In contrast, Luisa wants to be independent, but as she struggles outside her comfort zone, she begins to yearn for the comfort of home and her twin. It’s truly the heartwarming way the twins find their way back to each other and find a balance in their relationship that suits them both.
Here are some specifics to know about the content.
- Death: None
- Sexual content: None
- Violence: A brief scene with mild violence as one tween confronts another
- Alcohol/substance abuse: Text mentions and depicts illicit drug use by a minor, although portrayed negatively.
- Ethnic: Most of the characters are of Mexican descent
- Sexual orientation: None mentioned
Recommended for ages: 11+
Good for kids who like:
|Publisher details||Random House Graphic|
|Publication date:||July 9, 2022|
|Cover artists | Designer:|
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