Holly's Reviews > Jake and Lily

Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli
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3.5 stars. Jake and Lily are twins and share "goombla," or an unspoken and special connection most dramatically carried out when, on every birthday, they mysteriously end up at the train station in the middle of the night, barefoot and in pajamas, with the smell of pickles in the air. This is because they were born on a train, and their father had just opened a jar of pickles. As get older, the goombla starts to fade, much to Lily's dismay, and Jake starts hanging out with a group of guys who target a "Supergoober" and start bullying him for sport. In classic Spinelli style, the "goober" turns out to not care about being different and teaches Jake about true friendship and growing up. Lily, with help from her grandfather, learns to let go and let life happen. When she does, friendship also comes her way, and her bond with Jake comes back. The first person point of view, switching back and forth between Jake and Lily is unique because they talk to the reader and even leave off ends of sentences as they argue with each other. I thought this story lacked some of the poignancy of Spinelli's other books, so I don't think it's a Newbery contender, but it's a fun read, especially if you have a student who is a twin.
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