cover image Untwine


Edwidge Danticat. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-545-42303-8

Giselle, an art lover, and Isabelle, a budding composer, are 16-year-old Haitian-American twins living in Miami. After the SUV carrying the girls and their recently separated parents is hit, Giselle’s world unravels. Danticat (Krik? Krak!) vividly represents the path from shock to healing as Giselle and her parents grapple with Isabelle’s death. When the police start questioning the circumstances of the accident, friends Jean Michel and Tina help Giselle uncover startling details about the driver, a subplot that propels the novel forward with the suggestion that Isabelle’s death was not in vain. Danticat’s gracious and poetic language haunts as Giselle moves through “star-blinding pain,” both physical and emotional, discovering the inner world of her sister and reconciling the guilt she feels at being the surviving twin. With a dynamic family of uncles, aunts, grandparents, and family friends, Giselle creates a bridge for herself, moving from twinned to “untwinned” and to a place where the best of her sister lives on in her. Danticat’s final scenes are at once heartbreaking and uplifting. Ages 12–up. Agent: Nicole Aragi, Aragi Inc. (Sept.)