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Between Mom and Jo

Review

Between Mom and Jo

Nick faces all the traditional challenges of growing up: school, girls, dealing with his family. But his family is anything but "traditional" --- Nick has two lesbian moms. When Nick is young, he doesn't realize anything is unusual; he loves his birth mom and Jo, and they love him. When he splits open his chin on the coffee table, Jo rushes him to the hospital for stitches. When they lounge in the backyard eating watermelon, they end up in a silly seed-spitting contest. But as soon as Nick starts school, he begins to realize that his family is different.

Nick's classmates pick up on his uniqueness right away, and the teasing begins as early as kindergarten. Some of his teachers even treat him differently, uncomfortable with his family situation. Nick doesn't have a lot of friends, but he deals with it. He finds a lot of his happiness at home with his music, his vast aquarium hobby, and his relationships with his moms, especially Jo. His birth mom tends to be a bit more practical, worrying about putting food on the table and paying the bills. But Jo is different. She's the one who cheers away his tears and takes him paintball shooting. She's the one who talks to him about important topics like sex and death, who teaches him to stand up for himself and respect others. Even though Jo didn't give birth to him (or even officially adopt him), she's his mom in every single way.

But life isn't always fun and games at home. Jo starts drinking too much, and it puts a big strain on the family. And then the three of them battle cancer together when Nick's birth mom is diagnosed with the disease. It may never be easy or traditional, but his family is Nick's whole world. And then one day his family starts to fall apart...

Julie Anne Peters has created an amazing story with BETWEEN MOM AND JO. The diverse characters have incredible personalities with multiple layers; they quickly become very real and relatable. The emotional depths visited in this special story will have readers both laughing and crying and everything in between. Many of the issues addressed are a bit touchy yet necessary as they are happening in our world. Very highly recommended for everyone, young people and adults alike.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on May 10, 2006

Between Mom and Jo
by Julie Anne Peters

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0316067105
  • ISBN-13: 9780316067102