FOUR STARRED REVIEWS • A critically acclaimed graphic novel with rave reviews about this timely story featuring middle school twins living on the Mexico-US border and trying to discover exactly who they are – together or apart.
“Transcendentally good.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Being twins means having a best friend forever . . . But when one goes to middle school in Mexico and the other across the border in California, can that bond withstand the distance? Luis Fernando is staying local in Mexicali, Mexico, while Luisa Teresa crosses the border every day so she can go to a private school in Calexico, California. As they try to embrace new experiences close to and far from home, the twins hit obstacles: like making new friends and navigating school pressure without the other one for support. Fernando and Teresa finally have the chance to stand on their . . . isn’t that what the always wanted?
A unique and timely story about siblings, middle school, and peer pressure from rising star Jose Pimienta, Twin Cities is at once a relatable contemporary story and much-needed window into an experience so many kids can relate to but has rarely been seen in children’s graphic novels.
"From start to finish, Twin Cities is a superbly crafted work of art and emotion that marks Pimienta as a creator to watch." —BookPage, starred review
Pimienta's (Suncatcher) profound graphic novel follows Mexican twins Teresa and Fer's evolving relationship while attending different schools in separate cities, divided by the U.S.-Mexico border. Luis Fernando and Luisa Teresa Sosa, known collectively as the Lu-Lus, have always been inseparable. That is, until Teresa seeking to broaden her horizons and differentiate herself from her brother decides to commute to middle school across the border in Calexico, Calif. Fer, who stays in their Mexicali, Mexico, hometown, feels lost without her until he befriends weed-selling older kid Alex, who despises American hegemony. Brilliantly alternating panels parallel the twins' vastly different school experiences and home lives. Their opposing paths come to a head after a narrowly avoided crisis at a border checkpoint causes a blowout argument between the siblings. Through clear and honest communication, Teresa and Fer embrace their commonalities and lean on each other for support. Living on both sides is relatively feasible in this ostensibly 1990s set narrative, but the story foreshadows contemporary society's increased tensions. Pimienta uses empathetic dialogue to thoughtfully explore the twins' conflicting relationships with their parents and their dramatically shifting siblinghood. Brightly colored, intricately detailed panoramas and montages convey one family's experience living in a vivacious border community that is richer for its multitude of influences. An afterword about the author's experience growing up on both sides of the border concludes. Ages 8 12. Agent: Elizabeth Bennett, Transatlantic Literary.