Other than their first names, Naomi Marie and Naomi Edith are sure they have nothing in common, and they wouldn’t mind keeping it that way.
Naomi Marie starts clubs at the library and adores being a big sister. Naomi Edith loves quiet Saturdays and hanging with her best friend in her backyard. And while Naomi Marie’s father lives a few blocks away, Naomi Edith wonders how she’s supposed to get through each day a whole country apart from her mother.
When Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi Edith’s dad get serious about dating, each girl tries to cling to the life she knows and loves. Then their parents push them into attending a class together, where they might just have to find a way to work with each other—and maybe even join forces to find new ways to define family.
Celebrate differences... with cupcakes!
Naomi Edith is living with her father, Tom, since her parents divorced and her mother has gone to California to be a costume designer. Her father isn't very organized about things, and meals are a haphazard affair, but they get along. Naomi Marie's parents are also divorced, but her father lives close by and often spends time with her and her young sister Brianna. When Valerie, Naomi Marie's mother, and Tom start dating, the two Naomis have to learn to put up with each other. Brianna is young enough that she is just glad to have more people around her, and doesn't have a problem with two girls having the same name-- she occasionally refers to them as "black Naomi" (Marie) and "white Naomi" (Edith). The two families spend a lot of time together, hanging out at both of the bakeries that the girls love, and even enroll the girls in a "Girl Gaming the System" coding class. There are some problems along the way, but the families are a strong support network for each other, and the girls eventually learn to like each other.
I almost wish that a city were specified, because the setting was very vivid. The families don't have cars but rent them, and they go to the bakeries a LOT. I loved that Naomi Marie hung out at her local library and was involved in African Dance, and her little sister when to a Little Nubians play group, while Naomi Edith had her own interests and friends. Not surprisingly, since the book was a collaborative effort by two middle grade authors, there was a lot of discussion about how to get along with others and appreciate their differences even if you don't embrace them.
The inclusion of the computer coding class for the girls was fantastic! I wish that more readers would investigate the different coding languages that are out their and try their hand at it.
Perfect for fans of realistic fiction like Naylor's Alice series or Margolis' Boys Are Dogs that includes light drama, Two Naomis is a great book to show students that life can be challenging but isn't impossible to figure out.