Two Naomis

RHUDAY-PERKOVICH, Olugbemisola & . 218p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062414250.
Gr 4–6—Naomi Marie is African American, hardworking, a big sister, and finally feeling adjusted to living with her mother since her parents' divorce. Naomi E. is white, quiet, an only child, and dealing with feelings of abandonment after her parents got divorced and her mom moved to California. When the two Naomis are forced to meet after their parents begin dating, they discover they may be more alike than they could have ever imagined. Told in alternating viewpoints, this novel allows readers to experience all the emotions these two 10-year-olds face as they deal with their parents' new relationships, best friends, school problems, and annoying little sisters. Children will identify with the characters, who confront realistic problems such as parents making decisions without consulting their kids. The girls' voices are authentically tweenlike. Frequent references to different cultural items (e.g., Rahul dolls) and books (including Rita Garcia Williams's One Crazy Summer) will likely prompt readers to seek additional information. The theme of family is prominent throughout, and this is an excellent pick for students who may be dealing with similar issues. This selection manages to present a sweet coming-of-age story without being preachy or overly dramatic.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all middle grade collections looking for relatable realistic fiction.

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