From School Library Journal
Gr 3-6--Erlbach celebrates the uniqueness and diversity of families. One family has three mothers, and another is formed by caring individuals living in a group home. The children, mostly ages 8-14, do all the talking. Lindsey and Heather share the richness of their parents' African American and Caucasian heritages; Mark and Ryan write about how they and their parents deal with the crisis of Mark's leukemia. Meghan reveals how her family honors the religious heritages of both her Jewish mother and her Lutheran father. Randy and Aaron reveal what it is like to be stepbrothers; and siblings Nathan, Nicholas, and Adam (who has Down syndrome) describe their joys and responsibilities. Informal, posed portraits make the commentaries even more meaningful and accessible. There is not a false note here. What comes across loud and clear is that families are great even when they do not exactly fit Madison Avenue's perception of them. The author also provides a wealth of suggestions for projects, celebrations, and brand new traditions kids can create. She provides helpful hints for those who want to begin searching for roots, and she concludes with practical strategies for asserting individual rights (e.g., how and when to suggest family meetings). She even gives tips on how to deal with annoying relatives. A first-rate effort.
Jerry D. Flack, University of Colorado
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