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Kiki and Jacques

Kiki and Jacques

A Refugee Story


Kiki and Jacques

About the Book

Can Kiki and Jacques be friends—or are they just too different?

Life could be better for twelve-year-old Jacques. His mother just died, his father is jobless, and his grandmother’s bridal store is on the verge of closing. At least he can look forward to the soccer season—after all, he’s a shoo-in for captain. But the arrival of Somali refugees shakes up nearly everything in his French-American Maine town, even soccer.

Jacques isn’t the only star anymore—Mohamed is just as good as him, maybe better. School, church, sports . . . everything suddenly seems different. So Jacques is surprised to find himself becoming friends with Kiki, a smart, kind, and strong-minded Somali Muslim girl with a mysterious scar.

Can kids as seemingly different as Jacques and Kiki be friends? Kiki and Jacques offers a realistic and heartwarming portrait of a town learning to embrace its changing face.

A Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year

Product Details

On sale: February 12, 2019
Age: 8-12 years
Grade: Grades 3-7
Page count: 144 Pages
ISBN: 9780823441808
Reading level: Lexile: 640L

Author Bio

Susan Ross is an author and writing teacher who divides her time between Connecticut and Maine. Susan grew up in an immigrant family in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, and worked with refugee Somali teenagers in writing Kiki and Jacques’ realistic portrayal of the experience of New Mainers in her childhood home.


"Captivating. . . A stunning debut."—Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author

"Jacques is a model for readers facing their own ethical dilemmas."—Publishers Weekly

"This ultimately rosy picture of an unexpectedly diverse town coming together is heartening and gratifying."Booklist

"Every middle-schooler (and you too) should read this novel."—Bangor Daily News