Jake and Lily

Publisher: Orchard Books

Jake and Lily are twins, with a very special connection. Each knows what the other is thinking; they can't play hide and seek as they always know where each other are; and when Lily gets hurt, it's Jake whose arm is bruised. Strangest of all, each year on their birthday they awake from an identical dream to find they have sleepwalked onto the platform of their local train station, connecting them back to the strange circumstances of their birth aboard a famous train, the California Zephyr.

But whilst Lily relishes their sameness, Jake is aware that he and his sister are actually very different. As they grow up, the twins begin to grow apart: Jake is drawn to make friends with the boys in a neighbourhood gang who call themselves 'The Death Rays', led by Lily's arch-enemy, bully Bump Stubbins. Whilst the boys, following Bump's lead, set out to torment a good-natured 'goober', Ernie, Lily is left out. Rejected and alone, her grandfather tries to help her as she struggles to understand who she is without Jake by her side.

Author of Stargirl Jerry Spinelli has penned another smart, funny and touching story about the challenges of growing up. Told in the alternating voices of Jake and Lily, this will be an especially appealing story for pre-teens who are themselves dealing with the ups and downs of family, friendship and gaining independence.

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