My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer — Jennifer Genari

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer
by Jennifer Genari
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012
9780547577395
J Fiction ages 9-12

How do you stand up for yourself? If you are twelve-year-old June you will have to deal with your mother ‘s decision to marry Eva, a woman you dislike, but one who will become your stepmom when they marry. It ‘s painful for June to listen to the negative statements from her Vermont neighbors. Not only do some neighbors say hurtful things about June’s mom, some even boycott her luncheon marina. Her best friend’s father goes even further when he says lesbians should not be allowed to raise children. The only thing that brings June joy this summer is swimming in Lake Champlain with her best buddy Luke. Although she has been making excellent berry pies since the age of six, she is ambivalent about entering the best pie contest because that would attract attention to herself, something to be avoided at this time. In this coming of age novel, June has to find ways to adjust to the new relationship her mother forges, has to deal with friends who say mean things about her, and has to know when to speak up in spite of the risks. In her debut novel Gennari has drawn a realistic portrait of an imperfect young girl who matures by confronting uncomfortable realities. There are no graphic scenes in this book.

Lily Hecker, PEL

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