Twin Cities

Random House Graphic. Jul. 2022. 256p. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780593180631; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780593180624.
Gr 6 Up–Luis Fernando and Luisa Teresa have been known as the Lu-Lu twins for their whole lives, but as the two prepare to enter middle school, Teresa wants her own identity apart from her brother. Names are only the beginning of the changes they will experience in seventh grade: new rooms, new friends, and new schools follow. Growing up in a border town in Mexicali, Mexico, in the 1990s, the twins now attend schools on opposite sides of the border. Teresa struggles to keep up with the homework, commute, and new friendships. Meanwhile, Fernando finds himself figuring out what it means to be Mexican while becoming friends with an older student who isn’t the best influence. Pimienta portrays realistic sibling relationships and family dynamics. Drug use and peer pressure feature prominently as catalysts for conflict in the story. The hand-drawn, full-color illustrations complement the text, drive the story’s emotion, and provide richness to the setting. An author’s note offers connections to Pimienta’s lived experiences and the decision to mix English and Spanish.
VERDICT For fans of Alexis Castellanos’s Isla to Island and Maggie Edkins Willis’s Smaller Sister, this look at changing relationships and connection to identity and culture is highly recommended for middle and high school collections.

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