To join in, all you need to do is:
- Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
- Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
- Write three words to describe the book.
- Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.
Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat, published by Simon & Schuster
A heart-warming tale of adjusting to family change, and navigating a parent coming out as gay.
The friendships and family relationships in the book are strong and caring, which is lovely to read. Even the relationship between Archie’s mum and dad feels realistic but hopeful, as they argue and fight and cry and try to figure it all out, but nevertheless try to support each other and mostly, however awkwardly, support Archie.
This is not just a book which celebrates diversity (which it does, with bells on) but normalises it. For those children who find themselves here when they’ve not seen themselves in books before, there’s so much reassurance, positivity and affirmation.
For those to whom this is unfamiliar, it’s a great way to see the lives and experiences of others. To stop them seeming so ‘other’. To see the similarities not the differences.
The reactions of those around Archie – his best friends and babysitter for example – and maybe even more interestingly, his reaction to their (non)reactions, are great in the way they show such acceptance.
I’ll be honest though, I sometimes found the main characters’ actions and perceived knowledge or ‘worldliness’ (or lack of) a bit off and I didn’t love them. But, I didn’t dislike them either, and I did really like all the adult characters, who I found more believable. I suspect the younger readers this is aimed at would get on with them better and it’s definitely just a personal thing, and not something which would stop me from highly recommending the book overall.
The way it balances humour and real life will make it hugely appealing to young readers and its LGBTQ+ themes and the way it explores them openly, sensitively and with such joy and positivity makes it a really important book to get into young readers’ hands.
And I absolutely LOVED the descriptions of pride and the pride family reuniting the following year.
Peapod ‘enjoying’ his first Manchester Pride with our Pride family in 2019!
We go to Manchester pride every year, with an ever expanding pride family made up of so many people we’ve met there year to year, and now our children too. So these descriptions of Pride and how special it is felt so real and brought joy to my heart (it also has me yearning for our next gay Christmas!)
The beginnings of our Pride family at our first Pride together in 2009 and meeting up ahead of our most recent one ten years later (though our numbers have grown since then!)
My favourite quote from page
I’m cheating a bit this week (sorry Mary!) and I’ve chosen one of my favourite quotes about Pride as these were the parts of the book I really loved best.
“Pride is all about family, both the ones you’re given and the ones you make.”
This book in three words:
Pride. Family. Positivity.