cover image Two Naomis

Two Naomis

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick. Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-06-241425-0

Two 10-year-old girls with the same first name are forced to get to know each other when their divorced parents start dating. When the Naomis are introduced, they are less than thrilled, though Naomi Marie’s younger sister, Brianna, doesn’t mind as much, immediately starting to refer to Naomi E. as “White Naomi” (Naomi Marie and her family are black). Their parents, eager to help the girls connect, sign them up for a computer programming class and plan numerous family outings. Rhuday-Perkovich (8th Grade Superzero) and Vernick (Screaming at the Ump) realistically capture the challenges facing the girls, like arguing about whose favorite bakery to visit, the issue of their shared name, and their conflicted feelings regarding their other parents (Naomi Marie’s father lives nearby, while Naomi E.’s mother is out in California). While it’s clear that the girls will become friends—they are both too thoughtful and kind for any other outcome to feel possible—their worries about their shifting families resonate. Alternately narrated by both girls, this tale of a family blending together is warm, upbeat, and satisfying. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary. (Sept.) [/em]