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The Other Half of My Heart

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,289 ratings  ·  240 reviews
The close relationship of a pair of biracial twins is tested when their grandmother enters them in a pageant for African American girls in this new story from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner Sundee T. Frazier.
When Minerva and Keira King were born, they made headlines: Keira is black like Mama, but Minni is white like Daddy. Together the family migh
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published June 3rd 2010)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  1,289 ratings  ·  240 reviews

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Minni and Keira are twins that love spending time together and appreciate each other's uniqueness. Minni is shy, smart, and loves to volunteer, while Keira is outgoing, has dyslexia, loves gymnastics and fashion. However, there is one more unique trait that is different about them. Minni is white with straight, red hair and Keira is black with curly hair. Yes, they are actual biological twin sisters born to their black mother and white father. The girls have just turned 11 and their Grandmother ...more
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I was very conflicted about this book. I know there are not very many books for young readers that give such a sensitive perspective on race, and while I feel this could lead to some great, thoughtful discussions, there are also parts that cheapen the narrative. The fact that the twins are constantly looking for ways to demean and embarrass their grandmother really bothered me. Why couldn't Minni have great conversations with her grandmother in addition to Dr. Oliphant? I also had a hard time be ...more
hailey kington
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you're into a kind of rollercoaster of emotions then I recommend this book.. ...more
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really wasn't sure what I was going to think about this book when I first started reading it. Twins Keira and Minerva (Minni) were going to leave Washington State to visit their Grandmother Johnson in North Carolina to participate in the Miss Black Pearl Pageant, which was a longtime family tradition. Minni was very sellf-conscious about entering a contest for black girls, however, because she had red hair and very fair skin. The girls' father was white and their mother was black. Grandmother ...more
Christine Clayton

Text to self- My best friend while growing up is bi-racial. Her mother was white and her father was black. We lived in a small community that was not very diverse, much like the community Keira and Minni live in. I didn’t pay any attention to our differences growing up; we were much more alike than different in my eyes. But as I have gotten older, I have often wondered if she noticed the differences. I think this book would be a great story for opening up dialog for all children regarding stereo
Oct 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: juv
This is the kind of story about family and identity that I would recommend in a heartbeat to kids looking for that kind of story - one that takes childhood and sense of self seriously, adds in some humor and a reasonably compelling plot, and delivers a satisfying ending.

The story takes an interesting look at race by telling the story of twin girls, one who looks like their white father and the other who looks like their black mother. Whether or not these particular issues of race are ones that
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
Fraternal twin girls are born parents of different races, and their appearances are vastly different: Minni has fair skin and red hairlike their dad, and Keira has darker skin and curly hair like their mother.

Although I was really interested in the plot, I felt like the writing was a bit didactic and unrealistic. I just couldn't reconcile the fact that the parents of the girls, who are very involved in their children's lives and have dealt with pretty painful race dynamics in their own marriage,
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the adoptive mother of a bi-racial daughter who is being raised in a predominantly white community, I'm always interested in books like THE OTHER HALF OF MY HEART. It asks some important and intriguing questions about identity, Blackness, racism, judging each other, etc. and teaches valuable lessons about standing up for each other and ourselves, and loving each other (and ourselves) in spite of (and because of) our differences. Lots of thought-provoking discussions could come out of the issu ...more
Jun 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Sundee Frazier is the most thoughtful, kind, and honest person I know. And her newest book is an exploration of the two sides of her own self -- the outgoing and the shy. I think any writer can relate to that! And I think kids will relate to a sibling relationship that's tight and complicated and fraying a bit as the twins bump into the preteen years.

I felt I got inside Minnie, the lighter of bi-racial twins, and really felt her outsider/where do I belong pain. But I missed getting to know and u
Mary Ann
When do you talk with your children openly about race? Do you talk about noticing the color of someone's skin? I was fascinated last spring listening to Po Bronson, author of NurtureShock, talk to a group of parents about scientific research and implications for raising children. One of the topics he covered was how parents are doing a grave disservice to their children by trying to be "color neutral" and avoid discussions of race. As he writes in a column in Newsweek, "Ignoring the color of ski ...more
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Similar to Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It and The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond, The Other Half of My Heart is the story of an adolescent struggling with her identity. Minni King is fairer-skinned twin sister of Keira King and is deeply concerned with how she is perceived by others, and fears that she isn't "black enough."

Unlike Brendan Buckley, Minni seems fixate on her biracial heritage and readers are reminded of her fixation on every. single. page. Like Violet Dia
A.R. Thompson
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Eight little genes.

Out of the millions that tell people who they're going to be, only seven or eight tell them what color their skin will be. Eight little genes. That's it. But those eight little genes have traditionally stood in the way of acceptance from others, and now they're standing in the way of two best friends, one white, one black.

Who happen to be twins.

Minni, short for Minerva, and Keira King have always been closer than close, best friends forever. They are definitely not identical-
Becky Birtha
With biracial twin nieces in my family, and also knowing another set of biracial twins who more closely resemble the girls in the book, I was very curious about Sundee Frazier’s The Other Half of My Heart. I was glad, in the end, that I stuck with it. The story is told (in third person) from the point of view of one twin, Minni, who takes after their (white) father in looks. Of the two, Minni’s more intellectual, shyer, less self confident, and tries harder to please. Her sister Keira, who, in l ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
I wasn't crazy about this book but it did had some good features, such as it being really smooth and gentle. One thing that was really annoying about it is when Kiera argues and gets mad at Minni when Minni is also going through being accepted and Minni never does anything! The book is pretty slow and without much action. The BIG parts were really the contest and even then it wasn't as interesting as I hoped. I expected more from this book because the main idea of it and the back of the book mad ...more
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Twins of a black mom and white dad, Minerva and Keira King, 11, visit Grandmother Johnson in NC so they can compete in the Miss Black Pearl Preteen pageant. Minni, who appears white, is reluctant; outgoing Keira, who appears black, is thrilled. Back home in Washington State Minni has unknowingly benefited from white privilege, while Keira’s appearance has subjected her to bias. As their experience of race threatens to divide the sisters, Minni struggles to heal the rift. Frazier The contradictio ...more
Nov 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: good-for-girls, 2010
For the ideas and purpose of this book, it deserves 5 stars. Unfortunately, the writing style made it hard for me to slog through. The point was so laboriously and painstakingly made that I started to get bored while reading what I think is ultimately a very important book. I would not hesitate in giving this book to a young, earnest reader, especially one who feels different on the inside or outside from everybody else (so, basically, every girl who ever existed). I just would be worried that s ...more
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks

Voices great on the audio. Being a twin, I loved the characters in this book who are only 11 years old and already learning how to embrace their differences and not focus on the things that make them the same about being a twin!! Great book!
Joanne L
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book was well beautifully written and I like how the author puts a lot of metaphors and similarties to "imagine" the main character (Minni/Minerva) was trying to say. ...more

Would definitely recommend as a book to give young readers! It's super fun and accessible plus there are fantastic messages about race and identity.
Josie Pemberton
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love how this book is about a rare case in which two children were born. It is a very emotional story. Every page is a new adventure!
Aug 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I requested this book by accident from the library, intending to get one of the same title by Stephanie Butland. Not paying attention enough to realize that I had made a mistake, I began reading it. I was enjoying it well enough, but after a while, I started to feel that it was meant more for YAs. That's when the light dawned about my goof. I spent 25 years as a children's librarian; the last 11 with 7th and 8th graders. This is a wonderful book for that age, but I think many adults will also li ...more
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
What really disappointed me was that the story was told entirely from Minni's perspective. I was expecting to hear from Minni and Keira, but instead we only receive Minni's side of the story. Sympathy can be roused for both characters and it's both painful and rewarding to see Minni finally get 'it', understand what it's like to be the ONLY ONE. However I felt that the book could have been much stronger if Keira also got to tell her part of the story, what was it like for her being in the majori ...more
Rhonda M
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In a genre meant for a much younger audience, I really enjoyed this book. I think the concepts are maybe about 5th grade level, but I plan on adding to my daughter’s library.
Kristine Sandy
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
I read this book for a class in multicultural resources for youth and I am really excited to hear what the professor and my classmates have to say. I haven't read a children's book in years and wasn't really prepared. I recognize that I read this book like an adult rather than a child and suspect that seriously tainted my opinion. I thought the premise of the story was interesting - twins of an interracial family are entered into a beauty pageant for African Americans - but I thought the writing ...more
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I don't really know what I think of this book yet. It started off cute and promising enough, but throughout I found myself mostly lacking sympathy for Minni and her plight. I understand she's a confused girl in an unusual circumstance, but nevertheless, I found myself unable to muster up much sympathy for her. I don't consider myself a huge social justice warrior, yet I just found her slightly whiny when she'd bemoan feeling left out being the only "white" girl among black people, and would comp ...more
Melanie H.
I'll start off by saying that I did enjoy this book.

Having said that, what child am I going to give it to? It's well-written. But it is written in that style that suggests that the author felt there was a gap in children's literature in the "interracial family, child having trouble with self-identity" category.

Authors: if you want to write a "self-help fiction" title for kids, please make it accessible. That means leaving out the extended introspective thought processes. There needs to be lots o
Sandra Stiles
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Minnie and Keira are twins. They were born only seven minutes apart. However, Minni was born with reddish blond hair and white skin like her daddy. Keira was born with "cinnamon-brown" skin and dark curly hair like her mother. The girls are sent from Washington to North Caroline to visit their grandmother. She has entered them in the Miss Black Pear contest. For the first time, Keira feels like she fits in. Minni suddenly feels like she doesn't belong as they question whether she qualifies to be ...more
Memorable story about close-knit twin sisters who are biracial and look very different from each other. It's a serious look at racial issues, but with lots of lighthearted moments and a pre-teen pageant plot that will really appeal to girls. (I almost wish the cover played up the pageant angle to get girls reading; it looks awfully serious.) The girls are appealing and realistic main characters. I was intrigued by Frazier's vivid depiction of the difference between being black in small-town Wash ...more
Pamela Hubbard
This is a story of two sisters: Minni and Keira. They are twins, but couldn't look more different. Minni is white like her father while Keira is black like their mother. As the eleven year old girls enter the "Miss Black Pearl" pageant in North Carolina, they are thrust into a different world than that of their home in Port Townsend, WA. Keira is suddenly no longer the minority while Minni now learns how her sister feels on day-to-day basis. This book is told from Minni's perspective as she batt ...more
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a really good book. The girls leave to go to their Grandmothers house and most of the story takes place there. The girls, Minni and Keira are twins and best friends, but they are totally different. I liked how well the sisters got along and how they stuck up for each other. They have to enter a Miss Black Pearl pageant. It's an all black pageant and Minni is not looking forward to it. She is self conscious and doesn't want to stick out. Kiere is dyslexic and she can't read tha ...more
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Battle of the Boo...: The Other Half of My Heart by Sundee Tucker Frazier 1 3 Oct 25, 2014 08:34PM  

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