Two Naomis is a sweet middle-grade story of two NYC families attempting to become one.
Naomi Marie is black, has a younger sister (Brianna) and good relationships with her divorced parents: school librarian mother and a dad who lives close by. She’s also a high achiever and something of a perfectionist. White Naomi (as Brianna calls her) or Naomi Edith (after Edith Head) lives a more laid-back existence with dad, her mother, a costume designer, lives in California. Naomi E misses her mother and certainly doesn’t want two new sisters.
When their parents get together the girls do not take to each other or to the changing circumstances of their lives. Why, they ask (and as a parent this strikes a chord) can’t things stay as they were? The parents push things by enrolling both girls at a ‘Girls Gaming the System’ Saturday computer club. At first this backfires, predictably, but with time, the girls begin to tolerate and even enjoy the other Naomi’s company. Race and culture are not foregrounded here, but when did you last read a contemporary tale of friendship with a diverse, mixed-race family at the centre? This would make a perfect addition to school and home libraries for 8+