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Identical

Identical

For Ages: 14 and up
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  • bestseller
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Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?
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  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 576 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416950059 | 
  • August 2008 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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Video

Meet Bestselling Author Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins talks about her writing process.

Activity Sheets

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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to Identical by Ellen Hopkins

ABOUT THE BOOK

Kaeleigh and Raeanne Gardella, identical twins, live in a posh California neighborhood. Their father is a well-known district court judge and their mother a politician. On the surface they are the perfect American family, but beneath the façade lies a damaged family. Raeanne is the aggressive twin, the one who is sexually promiscuous—giving sex in return for drugs; she craves sexual attention from anyone, including her father. Kaeleigh is the quiet one, the one most like her mother, and the victim of her father’s sexual advances. Haunted by this, Kaeleigh has difficulty letting any boy close and deals with her pain by cutting. Torn apart by a tragic event, the twins’ parents hardly speak. Their mother spends her time on the campaign trail; their father lives at home where he drinks, abuses Oxycontin, and controls his daughters’ every move—from the clothes they wear to the places they go. Both girls have an eating disorder, and as they spiral into more dangerous depths, the story takes a surprising twist. One twin will need to step up. But who?

PREREADING ACTIVITY

What would it feel like to harbor a secret that could hurt another person should it be revealed?

How might you support a friend who had a family secret that would send one of his/her family members to jail?

What responsibility do we have to friends who may be ab see more

Behind the Book

More Books from this Author

Author Revealed

Q. how did you come to write Identical?

A. Over the years, several friends have shared stories of childhood sexual abuse. None felt able to write them, so I wanted to give them, and other young men and women with similar stories, a voice. Statistically, one in five women and one in seven men suffer some form of sexual abuse. We, as a society, need to find ways to lessen those statistics.

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