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Twelve year old June Farrell is sure of one thing she s 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 Vermont s civil union law threatens her family s security and their business Even when faced with bullying, June won t give up on winning the blue ribbon importantly, she won t give up on her family


10 thoughts on “My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer

  1. Beth Beth says:

    My manager came to me with this book and said he d written a review of it for the library system s magazine, and it was turned down because of the subject matter WHAT This book features a librarian as one of the main positive and accepting adult figures, and the library system is shutting it down Because it s about gay marriage Oh, I am so ashamed I know it s Oklahoma, and people here are homophobic waythan Vermont, which is where the story takes place But still Libraries and li My manager came to me with this book and said he d written a review of it for the library system s magazine, and it was turned down because of the subject matter WHAT This book features a librarian as one of the main positive and accepting adult figures, and the library system is shutting it down Because it s about gay marriage Oh, I am so ashamed I know it s Oklahoma, and people here are homophobic waythan Vermont, which is where the story takes place But still Libraries and librarians are supposed to be the ones who support We don t censor even when all anyone wants to read is urban smut, Amish mysteries, and vampires We provide the books and ideas without letting our personal feelings get in the way It s what we re known for But apparently, in Oklahoma, there are limits Or maybe by not posting it in our magazine and just quietly offering it on the shelf, we re providing service without raising the hackles of the commission, who aren t librarians The book has a good message that goes deeper than just don t be a homophobic jerk It s about standing up for yourself, doing the right thing, and making a kick ass pie All good topics The protagonist is a twelve year old, but I think it s perfectly appropriate for younger readers


  2. Barbara Barbara says:

    Although the book has aspects that are a tad didactic and some of the disharmony is resolved too easily, I still enjoyed this title, in part because of its honesty and in part because of its exploration of a topic not often tackled in books for middle graders June and her mother have lived happily on Lake Champlain in Vermont all of their lives But now that Eva, her mother s significant other, has moved in, and the two women plan to wed, everything seems to change As the women s relationship Although the book has aspects that are a tad didactic and some of the disharmony is resolved too easily, I still enjoyed this title, in part because of its honesty and in part because of its exploration of a topic not often tackled in books for middle graders June and her mother have lived happily on Lake Champlain in Vermont all of their lives But now that Eva, her mother s significant other, has moved in, and the two women plan to wed, everything seems to change As the women s relationship becomesopen, many of the area citizens turn on them, and they find themselves at the center of an anti gay firestorm with signs extolling Vermonters to Take Back Vermont and others advocating that citizens support the rights of gay couples to marry with signs saying to Keep It Civil Twelve year old June is wonderfully imperfect and real, torn between loving her mother and being embarrassed about her relationship with Eva When she grows angry at Eva and mistreats her and even says hurtful things, she sounded every bit as annoyed as an actual girl in her situation would be likely to sound After all, it seems as though she s lost her best friend Tina over the relationship, and Tina s brother and father often express sentiments filled with bigotry and an element of bullying As June prepares to enter a pie baking contest at the fair and ponders the possibility of love blossoming between her and best friend Luke, the author describes an idyllic setting beset by division over same sex marriage while also folding in yummy descriptions of fresh fruits such as blueberries and raspberries that make readers mouths water I loved that juxtaposition of sweet and sour in the book


  3. Patricia Bandre Patricia Bandre says:

    This is the first middle grade book I ve read that discusses the marriage of two women and the discrimination and prejudice they face The story is told by June, a 12 year old, who lives with her mother and her mother s fiance in Vermont June is not sure how she feels about her mother marrying Eva, and she isn t sure what to think about all of the flyers being stapled around town by those who are against same sex civil unions June is also an accomplished pie baker who desires to enter and win This is the first middle grade book I ve read that discusses the marriage of two women and the discrimination and prejudice they face The story is told by June, a 12 year old, who lives with her mother and her mother s fiance in Vermont June is not sure how she feels about her mother marrying Eva, and she isn t sure what to think about all of the flyers being stapled around town by those who are against same sex civil unions June is also an accomplished pie baker who desires to enter and win the berry pie contest at the local fair This book seems very honest and presents the issues at hand in a straight forward way There are some pretty mean things written on the signs and mean things are said to June Queers aren t supposed to have kids anyway p 64 There is definitely an audience for this book I m sure it will spark a great deal of discussions about family and what it means to be one


  4. Christine Christine says:

    I simply adored this debut novel by Mrs Gennari.


  5. CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian says:

    This is a sweet book about a 12 year old girl whose mom is a lesbian and is soon to be married to her partner It takes place in Vermont when same sex civil unions had just been legalized and there was a significant amount of backlash with this take back Vermont campaign where people were convinced queer people were going to take over their state Vermont being one of the first states to allow same sex couples to get married I wonder if this specific context might be lost on a lot of middl This is a sweet book about a 12 year old girl whose mom is a lesbian and is soon to be married to her partner It takes place in Vermont when same sex civil unions had just been legalized and there was a significant amount of backlash with this take back Vermont campaign where people were convinced queer people were going to take over their state Vermont being one of the first states to allow same sex couples to get married I wonder if this specific context might be lost on a lot of middle readers, which would make the context for this book confusing If you really didn t know what the situation was, it would make a lot of the book confusing, which is definitely a flaw here The book should stand without having to know that context.I did appreciate the way this book evoked the easy feeling of summertime in a rural place when you were 12, swimming, exploring the woods, boating, riding your bike, going to the country fair, working at your family s business helping with your family s farm I also liked that the main character June was allowed to feel conflicted about her mom s sexuality and her getting married it felt very realistic that a kid would emit some of the homophobia around her and have trouble standing up to homophobic kids and adults, although I wondered at the author s choice of making June s mom always having been out as a lesbian having had a kid on her own using a donor To me, it felt strange that all this gay stuff only became a problem for June when she was 12 I would assume a kid growing up with a lesbian mom would have already dealt with a lot of the feelings that June is struggling with at 12 wouldn t the prejudice against her mom have always been there But hey, I don t know any queer parents with 12 year olds, so But it did feel like the story would have madesense if June s mom had recently come out as a lesbian The recurring metaphors and similes related to pies and to the lake were mostly nice and effective my insides congealed a little, like a pie left out overnight June s feelings of anxiety mirrored by a rough windy day on the lake although they felt a bit overused by the end of the book I think this is a 3 star rather than 4 star read for me because I did feel like I could always see, even if just in the corner of my mind, an adult presiding over this story What I want from kids lit is an immersion in the child s perspective, and this didn t quite do it Also, it s implied that June figures out that she s straight and suddenly I knew by the end of the book because she realizes she has a crush on her friend who s a boy she worries a bit in the book if she s going to turn out like her mom This is nitpicky, but I wish this queer book hadn t implied that bisexuality isn t an option.Also, there is a rad librarian character in here who is a great support to June and stands up to the homophobes yay radical librarians There s a really cute scene where the librarian comes into June s mom s store, and June s like ah what are you doing here and the librarian replies well I don t live in the library June


  6. Emily Emily says:

    It s difficult to find good LGBTQ themed books for middle school students, so I was excited when a bookseller gave me an advanced copy of this at NCTE last month publication date 2012 The story All twelve year old June wants is to enter her first pie in the regional summer fair Her efforts are complicated, however, when a local group begins to protest Vermont s new law permitting civil unions At first June tries to ignore what s happening, but when the group s actions start affecting her f It s difficult to find good LGBTQ themed books for middle school students, so I was excited when a bookseller gave me an advanced copy of this at NCTE last month publication date 2012 The story All twelve year old June wants is to enter her first pie in the regional summer fair Her efforts are complicated, however, when a local group begins to protest Vermont s new law permitting civil unions At first June tries to ignore what s happening, but when the group s actions start affecting her family her mother s business and her mother s plans to wed her girlfriend, Eva as well as her friendships, she has to figure out where she stands As the summer passes, June is forced to ask herself a number of difficult questions Will she enter the contest even though her mother has asked her not to Will she accept Eva into her family Can she still be friends with people whose parents condemn her mom The content here is substantive, but Gennari keeps the book light and June is genuinely likeable And even though the book has its occasional teaching moments here s a primer on Vermont s law , it s a surprisingly affecting read I d absolutely make this available to all middle school readers


  7. Danielle Danielle says:

    June, the main character was believable and I really enjoyed her development and being inside her head Loved this line and how it relates to the novel s subject matter and all the characters It was weird the way people could be good and bad.


  8. Ann Ann says:

    A wonderful middle grade fiction about a twelve year girl whose mother just happens to be marrying another woman during an eventful Vermont summer.


  9. Dayala Dayala says:

    June and Luke had a code system using a flashlight Green I can play, Yellow I can t, and Red trouble Every morning one of them will look out their bedroom window and flash a color informing the other so they could plan their day June helped her mother at her shop, Stillwater Marina Luke helped his father in his sculpting shop Vermont was just allowed gay marriages MJ, Junes mother, was going to marry Eva, her fiance The prejudices of those around June started to caused problems June w June and Luke had a code system using a flashlight Green I can play, Yellow I can t, and Red trouble Every morning one of them will look out their bedroom window and flash a color informing the other so they could plan their day June helped her mother at her shop, Stillwater Marina Luke helped his father in his sculpting shop Vermont was just allowed gay marriages MJ, Junes mother, was going to marry Eva, her fiance The prejudices of those around June started to caused problems June was losing her friends, MJ shop was struggling June was having a difficult time accepting Eva June does a brave act and is a hero, and she goes against her mother to prove herself Middle SchoolBullying, LGBTQ, friendship, bravery Found in LGBTQIA Positive Children s Books


  10. Nina Cooper Nina Cooper says:

    June, aged 12, her mom MJ and fianc e Eva live near Vermont It is summer holiday time, and June s plans are to win the local pie baking competition and spend time with her best friend Luke However, almost from the beginning the signs are there that problems are not far away At first it is a short note, then June is bullied due to MJ and Eva being lesbians The hostile behaviour of some intensifies quickly, and June s unease increases as much as that of Eva and MJ Seemingly good friends of th June, aged 12, her mom MJ and fianc e Eva live near Vermont It is summer holiday time, and June s plans are to win the local pie baking competition and spend time with her best friend Luke However, almost from the beginning the signs are there that problems are not far away At first it is a short note, then June is bullied due to MJ and Eva being lesbians The hostile behaviour of some intensifies quickly, and June s unease increases as much as that of Eva and MJ Seemingly good friends of the family suddenly take part in a movement directed against the law that allows civil unions The situation is wearing down MJ, Eva, and June, who sometimes wishes she had a father, instead of Eva June worries about her family and is subjected to a lot of hurtful bias, from adults and teenagers alike However, due to the support she receives from friends she does not give up Instead, she tackles the problems her way In an easy to understand way the book shows what it means to be the victim of homophobia The prejudices, the bullying, the sometimes concealed, sometimes open hatred is depicted in a clear language showing the irrational hate behind it as a twelve year old girl experiences them.I liked how the mood in the plot was created and becameintense There are the passages when you can see how close June and her mom are, and even though there are a few typical mom daughter conflicts, all in all they are a caring and rather harmonious lot The unease that June feels early in the story when someone anonymously puts a flyer with anti gay messages onto her mom s shop noticeboard becomes worse for her, once the campaign of the anti lgbtq group turns intouninformed ugliness The situation deteriorates for June and hers, and Jennifer Gennari manages to write this without becoming too intense for the intended age group I enjoyed that June and her family are positive and friendly characters who do not wantthan living a peaceful life For MJ and Eva that includes the fundamental right that everybody has, marrying the one you love.Together with her friend Luke, June finds a way to fight back in a positive way And this is part of what makes this book worth reading Everything is created as June s personal experience She is too young to grasp all of the reasons behind this hatred, but she is old enough to understand that it is there and it hurts her and her family In addition to that, I found June a rather multifaceted character for her age, and it is not like this book shows her as the model girl of twelve She has her problems with Eva forthan half of the book, but these problems are created in a way that makes her as a characterbelievable Her wants and needs are those of most twelve year old girls too, which makes it pretty easy to identify with June The book seems to be written for middle school children, and I d think that children between nine and twelve would like it best It deals with marriage equality and homophobia in an easy to understand way I can definitely recommend it for middle school children 5 out of 5 stars