When Life Gives You Blueberries…

By Jennifer Gennari

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 15.99 120 pages

Twelve-year-old Jane Farrell is not having a great time lately: her mom’s girlfriend Eva has moved in and the two are planning to marry under Vermont’s new civil union law. In addition to adjusting to having a new stepmother, Jane now has to face the increasing anger and disapproval over the law from her friends and the community. Jane must figure out not only how she feels, but also decide whether she is going to lay low or find a way to stand up for her beliefs.

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer is a lovely book that highlights the issues that arise for children whose parents are in same-sex relationships. This issue is such a polarizing one that it makes it easy for people to dehumanize the people involved. This book, however, puts a face on the issue with the character of June, a charming heroine who ultimately tests her own bravery by entering the pie contest at the fair. The author avoids vilifying those who are against gay marriage but deftly shows how their words can harm those involved. The book stresses the importance of tolerance and is a nice reminder that, beneath political issues, we are all just people.

Reviewed By Barbara Cothern

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