A 16-year-old girl whose mother has just recently died learns that she is the daughter of the Republican candidate for president of the United States.
Kate’s formerly hidden parentage comes to light when a reporter reveals that she is the daughter of Sen. Mark Cooper of Massachusetts, who’s leading in the polls against the incumbent, a Democrat. Kate doesn’t know much about politics, although she grew up in East Los Angeles, where her mother ran a food bank, and her best friends’ parents are undocumented immigrants. She sees early on that Sen. Cooper takes a hard line on immigration but chooses not to learn what that means. In the meantime, she finds that her new family is quite wonderful. Even Mrs. Cooper accepts her as their daughter, and she becomes close to her new siblings, 8-year-old twins Gabe and Gracie. When Kate learns what “hard line” means, though, she introduces the Coopers to her undocumented friends to expose them to the reality of the issue. But will her friends remain safe? Meanwhile, Andy, the president’s son, starts a relationship with Kate. But is he honest about his feelings? Thorne appears to have researched the inner workings of political campaigns well and presents a believable portrait of the burdens they place on families. Kate’s reactions to her new family ring true as well.
Absorbing and timely. (Fiction. 12-18)