Between Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters

cover of the book Between Mom and JoBetween Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters
Genre: Award Winner; Young Adult Fiction
Copyright Year: 2006
Published: 2006
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Format: Hardcover
Type: Electronic Format Available
No. of Pages: 240
No. In Series:
ISBN: 316739065
Award(s): Lambda Literary Award Winner; 2006 Rainbow Reads, selected by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table; Honor Book, first ever James Cook Teen Book Award given by the Ohio Library Council. The award recognizes books that promote and celebrate cultural, ethnic and social diversity; demonstrate excellence in writing; and have a wide appeal to a teen audience; Cybils Award Finalist; Michigan Library Association 2007 Thumbs Up! Award Nominee
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Jo promised Nick they’d always be together. So did Mom. When you’re a stupid little kid you believe what your parents tell you. You want to believe that your life will be good and nothing will change and everything—everyone—goes on forever. It’s not until later you find out people are liars, forever is a myth, and a kid with two moms should never be put in the position of having to choose between them. ——– From School Library Journal Nicholas Nathaniel Thomas Tyler has four first names and two mothers. As the only child in his class with gay parents, he endures the taunts and prejudices of classmates and adults over the years as best he can, drawing reassurance and strength from his parents. Challenges nearly overwhelm him, though, when their relationship ends; Jo moves out, and Nick, now a teenager, is left with Erin, his birth mother. Peters captures the voice of an adolescent sorting through the memories of his childhood in poignant prose that rings with truth. As Nick develops from a boy to a young man, he must address his own sexuality, his ties to his family, and his need to assert his individuality. This novel is a timely exploration of the struggles faced by same-sex couples and their children, and while the issues are significant, the story is never overwhelmed by them. Because Jo lacks biological or legal relationship to Nick, he can be cut off from her with no recourse, which makes his experience slightly different from that of other children of divorcing parents. This coming-of-age novel powerfully portrays the universal pain of a family breakup. It also portrays what is still a weird situation to many people (as reflected in the behavior of Nick’s babysitter) as totally normal from one young man’s point of view. -Beth Gallego, Los Angeles Public Library, North Hollywood Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Booklist Fourteen-year-old Nick has two moms who couldn’t be more different. His biological mother, Mom, is dependable and careful; Jo, Mom’s partner, is irresponsible and impulsive. Nick tells their story in vignettes, including little things, such as the teasing he gets at school, as well as big things, such as Mom’s cancer and Jo’s alcoholism. Eventually these vignettes turn into a divorce story: Mom finds a new partner; Jo, who has no rights to Nick, struggles on her own; and Nick breaks down after Mom refuses to allow him to see Jo, with whom he wants to live. Nick’s incapacitating depression and Mom’s refusal to acknowledge it drag on far too long, turning into turgid melodrama. Yet Peters deftly depicts Nick’s relationship with his moms and theirs with each other, and the story stays rooted in Nick’s sensitive but limited perspective. A novel that will spark discussion. Krista Hutley Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Other Notes:
Author is Lesbian

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