When new classmates Mattie and Mercedes meet and realize they have the same dad, the two team up in a Parent Trap–inspired misadventure to meet him for the first time in this sharp and poignant middle grade novel about the bonds that make a family.
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 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.
Anika Fajardo was born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota. She wrote a book about that experience, Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family, which was published by University of Minnesota Press. A writer, editor, and teacher, she lives in the very literary city of Minneapolis. Anika is the author of What If a Fish and Meet Me Halfway.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 24, 2022)