Synopses & Reviews
Lake Champlain was a friend I could count on. I knew her every mood—sometimes she was flat like a cookie sheet, and other times she was whipped up like meringue on a butterscotch pie. Thats the way I felt, too. Ever since Eva had moved in with Mom and me last month, I was as changeable as the lake. In this middle grade novel from debut author Jennifer Gennari, twelve-year-old June Farrell is sure of only one thing—shes great at making pies and she plans to prove it by winning a blue ribbon in the Champlain Valley Fair pie competition. But a backlash against Vermonts civil union law threatens her familys security and their business, the Stillwater Marina Shop, where June and her mom sell pies. The uproar strains Junes friendship with Tina and, more importantly, her relationship with her mother, MJ. To make matters more complicated for June, Eva—MJs girlfriend—moves in to their home and, to top it all off with a cherry, MJ and Eva ask June to be the flower girl in their wedding. Junes complex struggle is tempered by the support of her best friend Luke and Ms. Flynn, the town librarian, both of whom urge June not to give up on entering the pie competition—and, more poignantly, not to give up on her family. In the face of adversity and prejudice, June finds the courage to question, to be emotive, and to just be herself all while she stands up to her greatest fears.
"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 dont set it aside to cool) and you have My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer. Tart in places and sweet in others, Ms. Gennaris 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
June has a lot on her plate in this middle-grade novel debut: bullying, backlash to her lesbian mom's gay marriage, and a baking competition are all served up for our brave heroine. Does June have what it takes to turn her mixed-up berry blue summer into something as sweet as wild berry pie?
Twelve-year-old June Farrell is sure of one thing—shes great at making pies—and she
plans to prove it by winning a blue ribbon in the Champlain Valley Fair pie competition.
But a backlash against Vermonts civil union law threatens her familys security
and their business. Even when faced with bullying, June wont give up on winning the
blue ribbon; more importantly, she wont give up on her family.