Meet Me Halfway

Meet Me Halfway
Age Range
Release Date
September 13, 2022
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Mattie Gomez feels directionless after being uprooted from her beloved Minnesota and forced to move in with her new stepfamily in California. So when she meets a girl at her new middle school who looks exactly like her, she’s not sure what to make of it.

But her doppelganger, the popular Mercedes Miller, doesn’t like it one bit.

Mercedes is used to getting what she wants, when she wants; Mattie would rather be invisible and blend into the background. Mercedes lives in a big empty house with her nanny; Mattie’s new home is packed-to-the-gills, twenty-four/seven chaos. Mercedes has a short fuse; Mattie is a planner. Though they may look alike, the two of them couldn’t be more different.

Soon enough, however, Mattie and Mercedes learn that they have at least one thing in common: a dad from Colombia that neither of them has ever met. Determined to meet the father they’ve never known, these polar opposites suddenly have to work together to fake sleepovers, evade their friends, and plot daring escapes from school field trips in an effort to track down him down.

If only they could stop bickering long enough to get the show on the road.

Editor review

1 review
Doppelganger Drama!
Overall rating
Writing Style
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When Mattie moves from Minnesota to California after her mother remarries, she is surprised to see a girl in her class that looks just like her. It's an intriguing distraction from her new, boisterous family, but Mattie is just trying to keep her head down and survive. Mercedes is a popular girl, so it's hard to even talk to her, much less get to know her well. However, the two soon realize that they have the same father, who lives in Colombia, and with whom they have never been in contact. There are different reasons for this, and each girl has dealt with this abandonment in different ways. When they find out he is teaching at a university their class is visiting, the scheme to sneak out and find him so they can ask him questions about their past and see how he fits into their future.
Good Points
The interweaving of Latine culture in this is quite interesting; Mattie and Mercedes discover their connection in part because they are both named for the wives of famous writers. Mattie is short for Mathilde. Of course, it is a middle school dream to have a twin, and the fact that the girls look so similar to each other will be a massive part of the appeal of this book. The adventure in "running away" to look for their father will also be enticing, although the fact that they left a field trip for a bit and weren't missed for a while struck terror into my adult teacher heart!

I have been glad to see more stories about children navigating blended families lately, since this is something my own students frequently experience. While Mattie and Mercedes don't live together, they do explore their family connection in an interesting way, and the fact that they weren't in contact with their father adds another level of drama. While it's a different sort of family story, it has some similarities to Payne's The Thing Aboult Leftovers, Nielsen's We Are All Made of Molecules or Palmer's Love You Like a Sister.
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