My theme this week has been middle graders dealing with the life changing situation when their single parent is dating. On Monday I featured The Field Guide for Getting Lost, the story of two very different kids brought together under these circumstances.
Today is all about Jeremiah and his Second Dad Summer.
Jeremiah lives with his mom but spends summers with his dad in Minneapolis. He knows dad is bi-sexual, but the partner he is with now is a bit much. Michael is not like anyone and is more than embarrassing to be around as the front cover portrays with perfection.
Filled with diverse characters and a thought provoking plot (check out the discussion guide from One Elm Books), Jeremiah has to tag along to Pride events and put up with Michael trying to act like a Dad. He’s never going to like this person, but a grouchy old neighbor and Sage, a new friend in the neighborhood, are the links to seeing things in a new way if Jeremiah is willing to listen.
Here’s the official synopsis from Red Chair Press:
Jeremiah wants a normal summer with his dad, but his dad has moved in with his new boyfriend who serves weird organic food and rides a unicorn bicycle. With help from new friends and an elderly neighbor, Jeremiah learns being a family comes in many surprising forms.
BOOK BIRTHDAY: August 4, 2020 PAGE COUNT: 224
Delightful illustrations are scattered throughout and there wasn’t a character I didn’t like (even old Mr. Keeler). Yes, the traditional American family is never the same and books like this one help young readers know that’s okay. Jeremiah is an appealing narrator and many kids will see themselves in some of the things he says and does. The community of LGBTQ is portrayed with tenderness and honesty and fits well with the intended reader of age 9 and up.
A heartfelt story and I would welcome another book featuring Jeremiah.
About the Author
Benjamin Klas knows a lot about Jeremiah and his family. The author lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his partner and their son. He spends his days block printing, playing the ukulele, parenting, and writing, although not necessarily in that order. After graduating from North Central University (MN), Benjamin earned a Master of Library and Information Science from St. Catherine University. His work has appeared in several literary magazines and a collection by LGBTQ authors
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