cover image Pedro & Daniel

Pedro & Daniel

Federico Erebia, illus. by Julie Kwon. Levine Querido, $19.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-64614-304-7

In this luminous semi-autobiographical debut, told across five parts starting in the late 1960s, Erebia shares interconnected stories that render fictionalized versions of himself and his younger brother. While Mexican American Pedro is technically older than Daniel, the brothers are “very much alike, as if they are twins born fifteen months apart.” Though they live with three sisters and an older brother, Pedro and Daniel endure the brunt of their mother’s physical and verbal abuse, as she singles both out for their refusal to play sports (“Mom says all her boys must like sports.... There will be no exceptions!”). She disparages Pedro in particular for inheriting his father’s darker skin tone. Erebia mixes the brothers’ illuminating alternating third-person POVs with perspectives of adults throughout their community to present a layered, thoroughly riveting telling that follows Pedro and Daniel from 1968 toddlerhood to young adulthood in 1992. As the pair chase their respective dreams of being a priest and a doctor, navigate suicidal ideation, and combat discrimination based on colorism, neurodivergence, race, sexuality, and terminal illness, Erebia deftly weaves together the boys’ everyday joys with the seriousness of their situations, presenting a clear portrait of two brothers’ fierce love that is by turns uplifting and heart-wrenching. Emotive illustrations by Kwon (Peter Lee’s Notes from the Field) appear throughout. Ages 12–up. (June)