Jake and Lily

Common Sense Media says

Twins with deep bond grow apart in funny, thoughtful story.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Jake and Lily's different viewpoints on the roles in their relationship may get readers thinking about their own siblings and which twin they agree with more. Jake and Lily also explores spiritual themes, such as eternity and finding a purpose in life.

Positive messages

Each twin is unique and takes a different path to learning -- and that's a fine thing. In addition, Poppy tries to instill in both his grandchildren the idea that they are all connected to everything: the stars, the earth, and each other.

Positive role models

Lily is impatient, short-tempered, and she complains quite a bit, but she never gives up trying to find a way to deal with what she views as Jake's betrayal of their twin bond. Jake sees himself as a more simple, straightforward thinker ("Boys don't have feelings," he tells her) and sometimes even comes across as cruel. But he eventually realizes that he cares deeply about how his actions affect others. Both twins have their wise, patient, and humorous grandpa to rely on.

Violence

Early on, Lily gets in a fight with a boy who wrecks her snow fort. Later, Jake interrupts a fight between two boys, and Jake's friend destroys a tree house that a boy in the neighborhood is building.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Jake and Lily presents a realistic view of twins struggling to establish their own individual identities. Jake's friends pretend to befriend a boy so that they can make fun of him behind his back, and later Jake's friend takes the bullying to the next level by destroying the boy's property. Lily deals with feeling abandoned by her twin and accepting that their relationship is changing, and both twins spend time talking to their grandfather about how how difficult it was for him to accept his wife's death.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

In Newbery Award-winner Jerry Spinelli's JAKE AND LILY, the title characters are twins with a mystical bond: Every year on their birthday, they sleepwalk and wake up in the middle of the night at the train station without knowing how they got there; they can never play hide and seek because each can sense where the other is; without being told, they know when something is wrong with the other. But the summer they turn 11, all that changes. Jake wants to hang out with his friends, but Lily still wants to hang out with Jake. Jake doesn't see what the big deal is; Lily can't understand how Jake can abandon their close relationship so easily. In alternating chapters -- and occasionally alternating sentences -- each twin narrates the events of the summer that lead them to realize nothing can ever stay the same, and that's OK.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Jake and Lily have strong, distinct personalities that come across clearly on the page, and the story of their magical twin bond will intrigue many readers. Although Lily's fixation on why her relationship with her brother can't stay the same grows somewhat tiresome, it's realistic and all the more gratifying when she finally sees a way out of her doldrums. Jake's narration tends to be the more lighthearted and fun, with a thoughtful undertone that he seems unaware of. Though the story starts out short on action, it picks up toward the end, and the alternating narration and often short chapters make it a quick, entertaining read.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how friendships and relationships with siblings can change. Has this happened in your life? How did you dealt with it?

  • Have you ever read a story about twins? Can you imagine what it would be like to be a twin? What would be the upside and the downside?

  • Is there anything in nature that you like to look at, or a place you like to go, that brings you comfort, the way looking at the stars comforts Poppy and makes him feel peaceful?

Book details

Author:Jerry Spinelli
Genre:Coming of Age
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Balzer + Bray
Publication date:May 8, 2012
Number of pages:355
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12

This review of Jake and Lily was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 October 20, 2012
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

jake and lily

Families can talk about how friendships and relationships with siblings can change. Has this happened in your life? How did you dealt with it? Have you ever read a story about twins? Can you imagine what it would be like to be a twin? What would be the upside and the downside? Is there anything in nature that you like to look at, or a place you like to go, that brings you comfort, the way looking at the stars comforts Poppy and makes him feel peaceful?
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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