Ellen Hopkins


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About the Book

Identical tackles perhaps the most difficult subject matter of all. It is about identical twins whose father is sexually abusing one of them.


I chose this subject matter because the issue touched the lives of three of my friends. Today, they are successful, beautiful women who you would never believe this might have happened to. I want readers to know it is possible to find a way beyond this terrible place, into a brighter future.



Mirror Mirror

When I look into a


it is her face I see.

Her right is my left, double

moles, dimple and all.



We are exact


Kaeleigh and me.

Mirror-image identical

twins. One egg, one sperm,

one zygote, divided,

sharing one complete

set of genetic markers.


On the outside

we are the same. But not

inside. I think

she is the egg, so

much like our mother

it makes me want to scream.



That makes me the sperm,

I guess. I take completely

after our father.


All Daddy, that’s me.




Good, bad. Left, right.

Kaeleigh and Raeanne.

One egg, one sperm.

One being, split in two.


And how many


Review for Identical

Identical received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly:


Hopkins’s gift with free verse reaches new heights in this portrait of splintered identical twins. . . . Kaeleigh and Raeanne maintain distinct voices throughout as they wrestle with psychic damage and an astonishing, devastating realization. Sharp and stunning, with a brilliant final page. [starred review]—Kirkus Reviews


Hopkins’s verse is not only lean and sinuous, it also demonstrates a mastery of technique. [starred review]—Publishers Weekly