Nick and Eryn are twelve-year-old twins. Their parents have been divorced for ages, ever since the twins were little, so Nick and Eryn are surprised when their mother suddenly announces she’s getting re-married.

They don’t believe her when she says their life won’t change much. After all, they’re moving into a new house. They’ll have a stepdad. They’ll have new stepsiblings.

Then their mom says they’ll never actually meet their stepbrother and stepsister. What?! Why?

Who are these kids? Why can’t they meet them? They’ll even be sharing the same house. Every other week, when Nick and Eryn spend the week with their dad, these kids will be in the new house with the twins’ mom and stepdad.

But their bedroom doors are always kept locked, and when the twins try to find out more, the grown-ups act like even asking questions about these kids is putting everyone’s life at risk.


Genre: Science fiction, mystery/thriller

Grade 4-7.


J’s take on it:

Under Their Skin was one of my top books this year. I used it in fifth and sixth grade classes in the fall and fourth grade classes in the spring, and everybody wanted to read it. I usually booktalked this title first to get my audience hooked into my presentation—kids were immediately drawn into the mystery of who those stepsiblings could possibly be.

In one class, a boy was so taken with Under Their Skin, that during my next book, he rolled over to my display on his yoga-ball seat to get a closer look at it. He thanked me afterward for bringing it—he just knew it was going to become one of his favorite books.

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