THE OTHER HALF OF MY HEART by Sundee T. Frazier ( Delacorte Press, 2010, $16.99 June 2010 ) is a story of twins born in a bi-racial marriage. Kiera is born black like her mother; Minerva (Minni) white like her father. Through the intercession of their maternal grandmother Johnson the girls are entered in the Miss Black Pearl Princess of America Program. The girls spend ten days in the south participating in the program activities.
The girls have grownup to be very close, and new life in the south puts this friendship under serious strain. Life with Grandmother Johnson is also very strenuous for the girls. Personal strengths and motivations are questioned as the days prior to the pageant slowly pass. At the actual event the girls each shine with their own strengths emerging.
The story has moments of hilarious high jinks where the twins work to relieve some of their pent up pressures. There also are moments of great humanity and passion especially as Minni gets to know the next door neighbor. Previously Grandmother Jackson had the girls nail a brown bag of dog poop to the neighbor’s front door, so this new friendship for Minni has a definite bit of tension.
Being recognized as twins, despite their color differences, is one of the major components of this marvelous fast-paced story. Young readers will quickly identify with our intrepid twins. I can hear the laughter and chuckles as they follow the twins from their safe home in the Northwest to humid pressure-prone life in the south at the program particularly.