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Jake and Lily

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  2,477 ratings  ·  346 reviews
Jake and Lily are twins. Even though they seem pretty different—Jake is the calm one and Lily has a temper; Lily is obsessed with trains and Jake collects cool rocks—they feel exactly the same, almost like two halves of one person. When one of them gets hurt, the other can feel it. They can communicate without words. And mysteriously, every year on their birthday, they sle ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
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Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
28th out of 118 books — 1,167 voters
Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe False Prince by Jennifer A. NielsenHigh in School by Salman AdityaThe Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
Middle Grade Novels of 2012
26th out of 336 books — 620 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jake and Lily are twins. They were born in the California Zephyr train, in the Moffat Tunnel.


They have something special that intertwine them. Both can feel the other’s thoughts, fear, and presence. In their birthday since they’re sixth, they somehow wake up in a train station. That is their secret, the thing that makes them special. Goombla.

Super cool!

But now they’re both eleven and having their summer holiday, Jake starts hanging out with other boys. He never has time to play with Lily an
Rachael Stein
Jake and Lily are twins – the spooky kind. They hear each other's thoughts, sense when the other twin is in danger, and, most magically, sleepwalk together every year on their birthday. Lily wants to believe that they are a matched pair – alike in every way – but Jake has his doubts. In the summer of their eleventh year, Jake finally moves into his own bedroom, and the twins begin the painful process of differentiation.

I was hooked from the first chapter, which is narrated in alternating lines b
A roundly charming book. THIS is the book to read about bullying this year; THIS book takes place in the real world, is peopled by real people, talks down to no one, and--while, as in real life, there are adults present--the kids are the focus, the do-ers, the ones who make stuff happen.

I was going to write, on reading the first third or so of the book, about how delightful both Jake and Lily are. Then the book grew darker; Lily was still delightful but too sad to be comfortable with, and Jake,
Jake and Lily were born on a train, in a tunnel 6 miles long, 11 minutes apart. Every year on the night of their birthday, they each sleepwalk to the nearby train station and wake up to find the other standing on the platform with them, evidence of the indescribable bond they share as twins - something they decide to call “goombla.” They are best friends.

When they’re about to have their eleventh birthday, Lily is moved into a separate bedroom and, she feels, a separate life. Jake begins to vent

Jerry Spinelli's books are reason for celebration. A hundred years after the release of Jake and Lily into a world of young readers starving for substance and the strengthening of our emotions and character that great literature offers, when Jerry Spinelli is no longer writing new stories and all we have left of him is a collection of transcendent juvenile novels that changed millions of hearts and affected billions of others, I hope we never lose the sense of what a gift it was each time Jerry
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Jake and Lily are twins and they have this kind of super power connection. Once when Lily was inside coloring, she yelled out loud “I’m stuck!” and it turned out that Jake was stuck under a fence in the yard. Another time Lily was about to run into the street chasing a ball, Jake yelled out “STOP!”, but he was at the dentist five miles away. When they were younger Jake and Lily were best friends and always together. They called their special connection their “goombla.” Their goombla starts to fa ...more
Jake is a boy. Lily is a girl. Twins. As different as they are, Lily is still clinging on to the childhood they spent together. When it's time for Jake to break free from their past partnership, Lily is so upset, she seeks help from her Poppy to find a new life. An excellent book about breaking free from your past and finding a new path, this book enlightened me and was indeed a very happy book. It wasn't a hard read at all, but still made me happy. It was fluff. Not nearly as meaningful as some ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Goombla is an interconnectedness between twins Jake and Lily, the ability to know something is going to happen to the other, even when the other is not around. It's what made Jake yell "Stop!" preventing Lily from running out into the road in front of a car, even though Jake was 5 miles away, it's what gave Lily the knowledge that Jake was stuck under a fence, even though she couldn't see him, and it's what causes the twins to sleepwalk to the local train station every year on their birthday.

Jerry Spinelli is one of my favorite children's authors. MANIAC MAGEE, THE LIBRARY CARD, and STARGIRL were three of my absolute favorite books. JAKE AND LILY might not be an instant classic, but it is a wonderful story for boys and girls.

Jake and Lily are fraternal twins who sleepwalk to the train station on their birthday. It's one of many ways they're connected, including a sense for where the other is and what they're doing. But as they mature, they can't stay glued to each other. Jake starts
Roberta Shapiro
Jake and Lily are twins whose connection is so strong they share the same dreams, and their bond as twins has made them the best of friends- until now. Jake starts to hang around with some of the neighborhood boys, and Lily is left behind. As she strives to find her own identity with the help of her hippie grandfather, she comes to the realization that she, too, can find friendship and meaning as "Just Lily." Meanwhile, Jake confronts his own identity issues as he has become a bully by associati ...more
Clare Cannon
Jun 19, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 8-11 years+
Shelves: 08-12yrs, favorites

I just love Spinelli. Even though he tells a similar story with new names and faces, it's the kind of story you can never hear enough of, because every time you read it, you become just a little bit better.

The story reminded me of Crash, except that the duel narrators opens this one up to girls as well. Jake and Lily are twins who've always had a special connection, but as they get older Jake starts to pull away. As Lily gets closer to her long lost Poppy and struggles to cope with losing her b
I was so excited to get to this book. The cover was appealing, the concept of following a pair of twins in first person was exciting, and the potential for adventure was alluring. Not so, none of it.
The cover, while appealing, does not reveal just how annoying the kids are. I mean, what kid is allowed to punch their grandfather when they get angry? As a 10-year-old? Please. And what family ignores the fact that one of their kids is heartbroken that the other one is being a jerk? I don't want to
Hafsah Laziaf
Originally Posted Here

Jake and Lily have been together ever since they were babies, they experience each other’s feelings and every night on their birthday the both sleepwalk to a train station. So when their parents suggest that it’s time to make some friends and have their separate rooms, Lily’s not happy; Jake doesn’t really care. But once Jake makes some friends, he forgets about Lily, and is suddenly mean to her. Lily’s alone, she has no friends to hang out with and she misses the old Jak
Anna Garland
This book is about the title characters Jake and Lily. These characters are twins with very distinct personalities and a unique bond. The story discusses how the relationships between boys and girls differ as both mature. The relationship Jake and lily had in the beginning was very close, always knowing how each other felt, but as they reach the age of 11, this all changes. Jake wants to hang out with his friends and Lily wants to be with Jake, but ends up feeling rejected by Jake not understand ...more
THREE WORDS: Completely Captivating & Touching

MY REVIEW: Every once in a while a MG Contemporary comes along and really captures my heart, mind and imagination completely…Jerry Spinelli’s Jake and Lily is definitely one of those books!

Twins Jake and Lily are more than just brother and sister, they’re best friends. They have a powerful connection that allows them to know when the other one is in trouble or hurt, finish each other’s sentences and communicate without words. The twins were born
Noah Breske
1. I think that the book is an interesting book and also very funny. Some of the quotations which support how funny and interesting this book is as follows:

“I stink at origami. Whatever I try to make came out looking like a giraffe in a bathtub.”

“Must be bite off grandpa’s head day.”

“I stared at the pitiful drawer. I said you’re not even civilized! You don’t even have an ice cream scoop!”

“I read Poppy’s palm. I said he’s going to buy me a car on the day I turn sixteen. He said that’s it for your
Samantha Eve Kennedy
Already a Spinelli fan thanks to his book, "Stargirl," I eagerly requested this latest book from the library. Although I did enjoy this ultra-fast read, I did not find it as memorable as the book I previously mentioned. However I was enamored of a character named Ernie. Not your typical "victim" character, at first I wondered if Ernie was "not-all-there" due to his reactions towards obvious mean kids who begin to tease him. However Ernie pleasantly surprised me at the end of the story, reminding ...more
Lisa Goldman
Read this book with my daughters for an elementary book club. The author captures both Lily and Jake's voice well. They are twins and sometimes get along well and other times fight like any other sibling. Some parts I felt could've have moved along a little faster but I had to remind myself that this was written for children.
Ugh, I can't TAKE it!!!! I don't CARE about your stupid twin problems! Ok, ok, calm down...

I liked it good enough.

But it seemed like two thirds of the books was Lilly moping about twins and Jake blabbing about goobers... If it hear that word one more time I will grab this book and rip out every individual page!

I was loving it at the beginning. Then they lost there goombla and I was a little confused... They have it just sometimes, or all the time? And they never explained why thy walked to the
Loved reading this book. These inseparable twins, Lily and Jake, are growing up and learning about challenges that they may face as they go thru life independently. Lots of problem solving, building relationships, and see thru the eyes of Jake and Lilly. Family members, neighborhood children, and the twins' parents guide them. This would be a nice read aloud for 3rd-5th graders. Lots of good discussion points.
Amy Jewell
LaRocco, D. (2012). [Review of the book Jake and Lily by J. Spinelli]. School Library Journal. Retrieved from

I felt this was a very accurate review of the book, Jake and Lily. The review detailed all of the main points without giving away too much of the plot. Just reading a book review about a set of twins that have the same dream and end up at the train station in the middle of the night on their birthday is an intriguing "teaser" that will get both chi
Vicki Cose
Cute story about twins, their identities and
relationships. Middle school students will
enjoy this good read.
Read with my daughter at age 10...need to re-read it on my truly love
This book had left me in such a nice place, i just liked it a lot.
Lily Deutsch
Jake And Lily by Jerry Spinelli

Jake and Lily are twins- they feel each other senses, think each other's thoughts and when one gets hurt, they share the pain. Turning eleven is going to change EVERYTHING.

Jake and Lily have been the best of friends, and they did everything together. Have the same room, have the same friends and even on their birthdays sleepwalk down to the train station right close to their house. What could this mean? Lily just knew that on their birthday everything was going to
Kayla H. Hoard
Jake and Lily are twins that were born on a train called the California Zephyr. When they were little, they were inseparable. They had a special power that they called "goombla". With their goombla they knew what each of them were thinking. Jake and Lily couldn't even play hide and seek because they always knew where the other was hiding. One time Lily got lost at the beach and her parents freaked out but not Jake because he knew exactly where she was. When they turned 11, Jake and Lily's parent ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. The beginning was slow but I really liked it after the basic story was set up about a third of the way through the book.

Twins Jake and Lily have always been each other's best friends and they share a sort of twin ESP which both rely on. However, the summer they're 10, they're given separate bedrooms and Jake decides to hang out with other boys. Lily is bereft. The first part of the book is about Lily trying to get Jake back. Their newly discovered grandfat
Disclaimer: This is not a book intended for a middle-aged mom, but rather for an 8- to 12-year old kid. Because I fall into the former category, while my daughter is within the latter, I will try to give some insight into both points of view. The "3" star rating is my own; my daughter would have rated it "4".

Jake and Lily are twins, and have a special connection, deeper than most brother-and-sister pairs. However, one summer, as they prepare to celebrate their 11th birthday, one twin begins to
Courtney Schlenker
Jake and Lily are twins who seem pretty different; Jake is the calm one and Lily has a temper but they feel exactly the same. They are like two halves of a whole person, when one hurts, the other feels it and they can communicate without words. For some reason, mysteriously every year on their birthday, they sleepwalk to a train station in the middle of the night. However the year when they turn eleven, their lives change. Their parents put them in separate rooms and Jake starts hanging out with ...more
Being twins is a mixed blessing, or so it is for Jake and Lily, the title characters of Jerry Spinelli’s most recent novel for middle graders. But it’s still a blessing.
Jake and Lily call themselves “the Neverlost Twins,” which means not only can they not play hide-and-seek with each other — they also find it hard to hide things from each other. When pugnacious Lily gets hurt in an early encounter with the bully Bump Stubbins, nonconfrontational Jake gets bruised, even though he’s snugly safe ba
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Boredom Busters!: Jake and Lily (Spoilers) 3 7 Mar 14, 2014 01:28PM  
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When Jerry Spinelli was a kid, he wanted to grow up to be either a cowboy or a baseball player. Lucky for us he became a writer instead.

He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to college at Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University. He has published more than 25 books and has six children and 16 grandchildren.
Jerry Spinelli began writing when he was 16 — not much older than the hero of his
More about Jerry Spinelli...
Stargirl (Stargirl, #1) Maniac Magee Love, Stargirl (Stargirl, #2) Milkweed Loser

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“And the more you love someone, the safer it is to be mad at them. Love can handle mad, no problem.” 6 likes
“How do you not try to get something you want?
How do you stop caring about the thing that you care about the most?
How do you erase the other half of your own self?”
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