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My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer Hardcover – May 8, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547577397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547577395
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer is like its protagonist, full to bursting with sweetness and summer light. . .When things begin to look bleak and scary, you just know June has the grit and sunshine to pull through." —Tim Wynne-Jones, award-winning author

"Mix a pitch-perfect narrator with serious themes (but don’t set it aside to cool) and you have My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer. Tart in places and sweet in others, Ms. Gennari’s debut novel is satisfying in every way."—Ron Koertge, author of Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs

"A realistic account of a family coming together under stress."--Publishers Weekly

"This title is a much-needed addition to the world of LGBT literature for young readers, given the relative scarcity of pre-YA novels about kids dealing with gay parents."--Bulletin

"This strong, vibrant novel looks at a complicated issue without didacticism or platitudes, but with the level of complexity it deserves, staying true to the heart of the protagonist."--School LIbrary Journal

About the Author

Jennifer Gennari has been a writer and editor for more than twenty years. A graduate of Vassar College, she holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her family in Sausalito, California—where they often whip up scrumptious berry pies. She returns to Lake Champlain every summer. This is her first book. Visit her website at www.jengennari.com


More About the Author

Jennifer Gennari is the author of MY MIXED-UP BERRY BLUE SUMMER, an ABC Spring 2012 New Voices title. A former reporter and occasional poet, Jen has been a writer and editor for more than twenty years. You can also find her work on sniplits.com. A graduate of Vassar College, the University of Virginia, and Vermont College of Fine Arts, Jen shares updates on writing @JenGenn and on FromtheMixedUpFiles.com and jengennari.com.

Customer Reviews

This book handles a hot button issue with sensitivity and realism for young readers.
Paige Turner
I found the characters to be curiously flat and poorly developed, resulting in a story that lacks the emotional impact I would have expected.
J.Prather
It is the story of June, whose mother is a lesbian, and June's efforts to make the perfect prize winning pie.
A. M. Brinkley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Terry L on June 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First, let's get to the heart of the story. This is not a story about a little girl entering a pie contest. This is a story about gay marriage rights using the little girl and the pie contest as a vehicle to carry it. It is book about politics for the most part. If you are for gay marriages, you will probably approve of this book for you children. If you are against gay marriages, you will probably disapprove of this book for your children.

Personally, I don't care either way. It is not something that matters to me. So I will judge the book on the story, not on the politics of gay marriage. Overall, I thought the writing was pretty good. However, I also think the author emphasized certain traits in most characters to the point of making most of them pretty one dimensional. Also, the story was very predictable. Even then the story was kind of cute and interesting. The story was not something I disliked, but it was not something I really liked either. Perhaps if you are on one side or the other in the gay marriage debate, you will have a more emotional reaction to the story. But for me, it was just an okay story, and just an okay book, so I give it an okay rating of three stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alex S TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While this is a very touching story about a child adapting to her new step parent, it carries within it some very adult themes.

(Spoiler Alert)

First of all, June's new step mother is her Mom's girl friend. This actually makes it appropriate for children who deal with this situation. But be prepared for questions on this topic.

Second, the two have moved in together before their wedding. This involves a scenario that could open up questions from your teen concerning whether living together outside of marriage meets your values.

Third, June's Mom used artificial insemination to have a child. June is teased at school about being a test tube baby.

Finally, June has to deal with a boycott of her Mom's store by a town who is angered by the upcoming wedding.

While this is written for young tweens, only you can decide if this book and these topics are appropriate for your child. While we don't always preview books in this age group, this is one I recommend parents preview and discuss with young readers since it is far more than a simple story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm3 on March 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
An interesting mix of political justice and typical tween angst. Our main character worries a lot, like a normal 12 year old should. But she has extra stress, her Mom is Gay and her father was a sperm donor. Now her Mom and her partner want to get married and the entire town is split on their opinions and beliefs. Some townsfolk boycott their business and plenty of public scenes erupt. How can she stick up for freedom? How can she be strong and support civil rights when so many are opposed? Is love worth fighting for?!
A delightful read will leave you cheering and believing perhaps there is still humanity in the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LookinG for Trouble VINE VOICE on June 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In two paragraphs I knew this book was going to be controversial. My all time favorite book on this topic is And Tango Makes Three. Gorgeous book.

Children are going to be able to empathize with June. Parents embarrass children. It doesn't matter whether male or female or whether they are same sex couples or not: parents are pre-existing proof of some sexual activity or indiscretion. Just the thought of it is enough.

This is a sweet little story about an almost teenager who makes pies and spends all her free time on the water. Her friend Luke lives on a nearby island and they have a fairly idyllic existence on a fairly idyllic world -- all except for the controversy generated by the anti-civil union crowd who find it appropriate to hang signs and badger little girls. It's always good to have completely unlikable characters.

I happen to live in an area with a large number of same sex couples who are raising happy, well-adjusted children but who are still not allowed to marry even though their commitment is no less than any married couples' commitment. It's a funny world we live in when we can give a person a new heart but still believe we should be in charge of whom it loves.

This is even funnier than the writer who used scrotum in the first page of The Higher Power of Lucky - another great book! Oooh! Sequels!
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tyson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There is a surprisingly large amount of great gay-themed books for kids out there if you seek them out, and although this book isn't the absolute best, it is certainly a charming, well-handled, quick read about a 12-year-old girl mixed up in a political issue, a family issue, and a pie issue. She is uncertain about her mom's new girlfriend, would rather stay low than get involved in the possible repeal of civil union, and torn about whether or not it's a good idea to enter one of her famous pies in the county fair.

Personally I thought it was a well-thought-out story for the 6th-8th grade crowd. June is a realistic kid who wants to have friends and doesn't want to be the center of controversy. Even though she loves her mother enormously, she even finds herself repeating the slogan of the hate-mongering anti-gay movement "[Gays] shouldn't have children!" It teaches youngsters how to decipher between what is ignorant hate speech and what is love from the heart, but it does it in a rational, non-preachy way that isn't shoving anything down anybody's throats.

Overall, the story isn't groundbreaking in regards to plot or character development, but it is visual and written well-enough that any reader will most likely keep the pages turning. I think it is incredibly important for children of same-sex couples to read this book--or at least ones like it--because reading fiction with recognizable characters, seeing this type of conflict and resolution, etc, is extremely morale-boosting. It's a breezy, happy story that even comes with a recipe for pie, but it is also a voice of the modern generation and that needs to be made available. Kids can't comprehend decades of prejudice, and this book won't answer everything either, but it does help. And it's entertaining, too!
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