Monday, July 10, 2006

Between Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters

Two OMS students told me if I only read one book this summer it should be this one. So I read it, and I agree with them--this is an important book. Nick is a boy who loves his dog, his cat, his fish, and his two moms. This is much more than a book about a kid with gay parents. It's about a kid facing the kinds of problems kids face in all kinds of families. Nick's moms both love him very much, but when they separate things get ugly and Nick is not given any say over his fate. Readers will laugh with Nick and his playful mom, Jo, and also relate to his deep depression when he is separated from her. Peters doesn't shy away from issues that affect children from gay families--in fact, she weaves in the harassment and embarassment and insecurity into the story in a realistic way that leaves the reader with a deeper understanding and empathy for Nick and other kids like him who face both ordinary and extraordinary pressures. There is a lot of humor here, and Jo especially comes alive with her colorful language, her flaws (alcoholism, impulsiveness, and obstinancy to name a few). Recommended for 7th and 8th graders, both boys and girls.

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