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  • Jake and Lily

    by Jerry Spinelli
    352 pages
    Reviewed by The Junior Book Dealer (Elena Elizabeth Hynes)

    “I kept looking at Ernie with his Daffy Duck T-shirt and his white smear of sunblock on his sunburned nose and his clumsiness and his never-ending cheeriness, and I realized he was the same as always. He fit the definition of a goober as perfectly as ever. He hadn’t changed at all. I had. Forget what I said a couple of pages ago: goobers do exist. They are what they are, which is pretty much what I thought they were. What Bump thinks they are. But Bump is missing the point: it is okay to be a goober. Beneath every goober is a kid. A person. Maybe he’s not what you would call a ‘regular.’ But so what? Is that a bad thing?” (Spinelli, p. 322)

    Jake and Lily is one of the best books I have read so far. These two characters are twins who are connected on a deep level. When one is hurt, the other feels it. They even mysteriously meet up at the train station the night of their shared birthday. But will they on their 11th birthday? Everything else has changed between them. They are now in separate bedrooms and meeting different friends. Lilly is sad. Jake is trying to find his own friends. It just isn’t the same.
    Ulysses brings all these characters together with his poetry and incredible powers. Through his poetry and his actions, Ulysses teaches Flora, William Spiver, and even the adults that hope and love are two powerful words.

    Both of the characters learn a lot during the summer, and they take turns writing chapters in a book to tell the story. They learn about bullies, goobers, and what a true friend is really like. Do Lilly and Jake make up and become the good friends they were before? Read to find out…

    Notes to Teachers: This book would be good for twins or any person who is sad due to bullying or losing friends. It also is good for both girls and boys since the characters are shared by the girl and boy. I think this book is good for 4th or 5th graders. It reminded me how much bullying hurts.

    Suggestions for Possible Concepts: \ NO Bullying, Family, Friendships

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