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The Other Half of My Heart [Kindle Edition]

Sundee T. Frazier
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $5.98
You Save: $1.01 (14%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

The close relationship of a pair of biracial twins is tested when their grandmother enters them in a pageant for African American girls in this new story from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner Sundee T. Frazier.
 
When Minerva and Keira King were born, they made headlines: Keira is black like Mama, but Minni is white like Daddy. Together the family might look like part of a chessboard row, but they are first and foremost the close-knit Kings. Then Grandmother Johnson calls, to invite the twins down South to compete for the title of Miss Black Pearl Preteen of America.
 
Minni dreads the spotlight, but Keira assures her that together they'll get through their stay with Grandmother Johnson. But when grandmother's bias against Keira reveals itself, Keira pulls away from her twin. Minni has always believed that no matter how different she and Keira are, they share a deep bond of the heart. Now she'll find out the truth.
 


From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6 Twins Keira and Minni, 11, are used to the funny looks their chessboard family receives: Keira takes after their black mother and Minni resembles their white father. In spite of differences in appearance and personality, the girls share a bond that they are convinced is unbreakable. When their maternal grandmother invites them to fly from their coastal Washington town to North Carolina and enroll in the Miss Black Pearl of America Program, their mother is hesitant, but finally agrees. Keira is ecstatic to enter, but introverted Minni is not happy. Her reservations seem well founded when they arrive: Grandmother Johnson is as persnickety as ever, and the program's president questions whether Minni qualifies to participate in an event for black girls. Minni learns what it feels like to be the odd person out in terms of appearance, and Keira is resentful that, up until now, Minni really hasn't understood what her sister was going through in their white Seattle suburb. The girls mature and learn a few things about their grandmother's struggle to be seen as an equal by the white community. As in Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It (Delacorte, 2007), Frazier addresses issues faced by mixed-race children with a grace and humor that keep her from being pedantic. The story is enjoyable in its own right, but will also encourage readers to rethink racial boundaries and what it means to be black or white in America. Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The idea of being a twin has built-in appeal—a sibling who has almost identical experiences of the world can be an instant BFF. That ideal informs the lives of sisters Minni and Keira, but the differences between the biracial siblings may be vaster than they’d like to think, because Minni’s coloring is white like their father’s, while Keira’s is black like their mother’s. During the summer when the girls turn 11, awareness of how they’re perceived is driven home when a storekeeper in their home state of Washington has a widely disparate reaction to the girls’ browsing through fancy dresses. Later, when the girls visit their prickly maternal grandmother in North Carolina and compete in a beauty contest for African Americans, Minni feels she is the focus of skeptical attention. Not only does Frazier raise questions worth pondering but her ability to round out each character, looking past easy explanations for attitude, is impressive. She also leavens the whole with easy humor and builds suspense over the pageant itself. Will the talented and outgoing Keira win the prize? Will Minni be able to overcome her shyness and shine? A novel with a great deal of heart indeed, from the winner of the John Steptoe New Talent Award for Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It (2007). Grades 4-6. --Karen Cruze

Product Details

  • File Size: 349 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385734409
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (June 8, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4BC6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,975 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(23)
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite book! June 23, 2010
A Kid's Review
Format:Hardcover
The Other Half of My Heart is now one of my favorite books in the entire world!!!!
I finished reading it four days after I received it for my 12th birthday. I recommend it for ages 8 and up and especially for sisters. It is about the pleasures and hardships of biracial twins, Minni and Kiera, and how Minni learns that standing up for and doing what is right takes courage, especially when, if you don't act, it may hurt someone you love.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth be told November 2, 2010
By LaTasha
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My children are biracial and I felt this book would do good for my daughter and comment she was faced with recently in school. The warmness that the twins have between one another is so nice to read. Understanding that people biracial or not go through things and can overcome what ever happens their way with pride and grace. I hope my daughter takes all that is good from this book and shares it with others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Minni and Keira are biracial twins. That's not all that unusual, but the fact that Minni looks completely like her father -- fair and red-headed -- and Keira looks like her mother -- darker with curly dark hair -- is unusual.

When their grandmother invites them to stay for the summer and participate in the Black Pearl pageant, it makes their differences stand out even more. Not only does Minni not look Black, but she hates being in the spotlight, something her sister Keira loves.

The novel focuses on Minni figuring out if she really can consider herself to be Black, learning what it's felt like for her sister Keira to be one of the only dark-skinned people in their class at home, and just figuring out identity and who she wants to be.

It's a great look at sisters, mothers, estranged relatives (their grandmother), and facing your fears. Both sisters are likable and relatable heroines, and the message that comes through is that we should celebrate our similarities and our differences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Little Details August 20, 2012
By Brooks
Format:Hardcover
While I liked the overall spirit and wisdom of the book, there were little details that were too off-putting to ignore. The relationship between the twins was realistic and touching. The handling of each twin's unique position was also well done. However,a pagent? Really? There was no other format to explore these themes of identity, acceptance, family bonds, etc? Eleven year olds in pagents? Really? If their mother was such a strong black woman, she would never have allowed such a thing to happen.
The twins travel to Raleigh, NC to visit their black grandmother who has entered them in the Miss Black Pearl pagent. The author's negative description of Raleigh was rather a shock. Raleigh is a beautiful, historical, gem of the south. The girls' disrespectful attitude toward their grandmother was not amusing. When they put something in her food that could potentially be harmful, that was going too far. I would never use a book where the characters thought that was a cute prank. Plus, I can't imagine doing that to my grandmother no matter what I thought of her.
There is the part where the announcer welcomes everyone to the 9th annual pagent. The girls' mother was in the pagent when she was a girl, and she's in her 30's, so how could it be the 9th pagent?
The grandmother's grandmother lived in Durham and worked as a housekeeper in Raleigh. The book mentions it's a 30 minute bus ride. Most unlikely. It was all those little details that kept me from thinking the book was outstanding. Those details should have been picked up on by an editor.
There are a lot of authors using 11 year olds. As a middle school teacher for many years, I strongly doubt that 11 year olds could do all of this or have the experiences these girls have had.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book January 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Description:

The close relationship of a pair of biracial twins is tested when their grandmother enters them in a pageant for African American girls in this new story from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner Sundee T. Frazier.' 'When Minerva and Keira King were born, they made headlines: Keira is black like Mama, but Minni is white like Daddy. Together the family might look like part of a chessboard row, but they are first and foremost the close-knit Kings. Then Grandmother Johnson calls, to invite the twins down South to compete for the title of Miss Black Pearl Preteen of America. ' 'Minni dreads the spotlight, but Keira assures her that together they'll get through their stay with Grandmother Johnson. But when grandmother's bias against Keira reveals itself, Keira pulls away from her twin. Minni has always believed that no matter how different she and Keira are, they share a deep bond of the heart. Now she'll find out the truth.

I truly enjoyed this book. It is one of those books that I would recommend to my 5th graders as well as to teens and adults.

This contemporary book is a serious look at racial issues (and for those who may think we have moved beyond those issues, this book will make you rethink that). It also has many light hearted moments. Grandmother Johnson provides quite a bit of comic relief.

Two things could have made this book better. One is a better cover. It just doesn't do the story justice. It looks so serious some readers may pass it by. Second is to have had some of the story told from Keira's view. We do get some insight to her feelings, but the story is basically Minni's.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
I love this book! It is a great pluralistic story about a biracial twin who is unknowing benefiting from white privilege. Read more
Published 9 days ago by J. Pacheco
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I loved it ,one the best books I've ever read, I usually like fiction and sci-fi books ,but this was really good actually it was great. I loved it.
Published 5 months ago by Marsha
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. Things are not always as they seem. Loved the twins! I would recommend this book highly. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Carol B
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for excitement
This is an incredible book and it has such an amazing lesson. It really get's you of your seat. When you finish a chapter you just can't resist the next one!
Published 5 months ago by Lindsay Stamler
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Contemporary Middle Grade Girl Book
Minni's heart soared as the small plane's wheels lifted from the ground. She loved being up in the clouds with Keira, Mama and Daddy, the never-ending blue-gray ocean, and the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Carol Baldwin
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book ever
i read this in three days that is awesome hopefully this author has some more books for me to enjoy
Published 11 months ago by Javvene Bowers
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, yet heart-rending.
A great read. Laughed throughout the book as the girls played tricks on their grandma, Grandma Johnson. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Carolyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I loved this book. It it really touching. I like the name too."The Other Half Of My Heart" That book is probably in my top 10 favorite books.
Published 17 months ago by Elyse Germack
5.0 out of 5 stars "Steadfast Sisters"
When Minerva (Minni) and Keira King were born they made the news around the world. They were born in the back of an air plain and they didn't look like most twins. Read more
Published 21 months ago by L.Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for pre-teen girls
Great book lots of personal mushy stuff. I'm not into the whole we're sisters and we love each other no matter what type thing but it was a great book other wise it was more pushed... Read more
Published 23 months ago by flipydog7
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