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Kiki and Jacques
by Susan Ross

Trade Binding | 128 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 | US$ 16.95
ISBN: 9780823434275 | 08-30-2015

Also available as an ebook.

Grade: FIFTH | Age: 8 to 12

Themes: Friendship, Bullies, Cultural Diversity - General, Immigrant Experience, Family & Relationships, Community
Recommendations: PW

CCSS Codes:
L.6.3, 4, 4a, 5, 5a, 5b, 5c
SL.6.1, 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 6
W.6.4, 9, 9a, 10
RL.6.1-6, 9, 10

About the Book

Preteens prove that cultural differences can be overcome in this middle-grade novel about a native Mainer and a Somali girl who form an unlikely and supportive friendship.

Twelve-year-old Jacques's mother has passed away, his father is jobless and drinking again and his grandmother's bridal store is on the verge of going out of business. Plus he's under pressure from a bully to join in some illegal activities. At least Jacques can look forward to the soccer season. After all, he's a shoe-in for captain.

But the arrival of Somali refugees shakes up nearly everything in Jacques's Maine town, including the soccer team. So Jacques is surprised to find himself becoming friends with Kiki, a cheerful and strong-minded Somali immigrant. Despite their many differences they are able to help one another triumph over problems with friends, family and growing up.


"Susan Ross has created a captivating world; the characters are memorable, the setting unusual, and the story affecting, beautifully told. A stunning debut novel."—Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author


Read an exclusive Q&A with author, Susan Ross!

Classroom Discussion Questions with CCSS:

1. What are the central themes in KIKI AND JACQUES? How are the themes reflected through the setting, plot and character development in the story? RL.6-8.2, 3 / W.6-8.9

2. Discuss a major conflict in the story. How is the conflict resolved? RL.6-8.1, 3 / SL.6-8.1, 4

3. Explain how the characters overcome cultural differences. Compare and contrast KIKI AND JACQUES to another book you have read that deals with characters from different cultural backgrounds. RL.6-8.1, 2, 9 / SL.6-8.1, 4

4. Choose a character from the story that you can relate to. Describe their thoughts, feelings, actions and motivations. Explain why you identify with the character. RL.6-8.1, 3 / W.6-8.9, 10

Educators' Guide
Educator's Guide featuring questions for classroom discussion and suggestions for further exploration. Includes connections to the Common Core State Standards.