A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Families can use this book to discuss their own feeling about gay families and what legal rights they would extend to them, if any.
Readers -- especially those who have seen their own parents split or divorce -- will especially relate to the a message here about learning to accept family as it changes.
Positive Role Models
Nick is a relatable character who cares deeply about both his mothers. He may not always act perfectly, but readers will understand how torn up he is and why he wants his old family back.
Violence & Scariness
Not an issue.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nick sees his mom in a long kiss; a babysitter asks if he has seen his moms having sex; some other general talk about sex, condoms, etc.
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Nick gets called homophobic names; lots of other words like "Jesus," "hell," "crap."
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Products & Purchases
Some junk food like KFC, Red Bull, Coke, Jell-O
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Not glamorized: Jo is an alcoholic who gets drunk and makes a scene at Nick's birthday.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book centers on a boy growing up with two moms. There is some heavy stuff: Jo is an alcoholic, Erin has breast cancer -- and then there is the main crisis: They split up, leaving Nick sad and angry (and Jo without any rights). There's some swearing, some mentions of junk food brands, and Nick has to deal with some harassment from his peers (and even one prejudiced teacher). Readers -- especially those who have seen their own parents split or divorce -- will especially relate to the a message here about learning to accept family as it changes.
Is It Any Good?
Told in flashbacks, this book will certainly give readers the sense of how much Nick loves both his mothers -- practical Erin, his birth mother, and her rather crude partner, Jo. They will also get a strong sense of how complicated the women are, especially Jo, who struggles with alcoholism. This is a book about a kid with gay parents, certainly. Nick not only endures teasing from his peers, he must deal with a prejudiced teacher. Also, when his moms break up, Jo is left without any legal rights to Nick. But more than anything, this is a book about a family that falls apart.
Like all families, they share many small moments together (eating watermelon in the backyard) and are there for each other in the big moments (dealing with Erin's breast cancer). The author's careful rendering of their memories -- complete with very real, fast-moving dialog -- makes it easy to understand why Nick is so devastated when they split. Readers will certainly empathize with Nick when he prays into the night, "Jo, please...Hear me. Come and get me. Give us back our life."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.