Kelly and I recently got together with some good friends for the first time in close to a year. During the course of the evening, we asked their daughter what she planned to do this summer. I was so happy to hear her say “read.”
I’m a big proponent of reading, and there are now a growing number of kids’ books for all ages featuring two-mom or two-dad characters. So, I reached out to ask some folks across the country what titles they’d recommend for a good summer read.
Holiday House Publishing has some great new titles for kids. “Tuesday Is Daddy’s Day” by Elliott Kreloff is a great reminder that family comes in many forms – like one that includes Daddy’s partner, Harry. For older kids, there’s “The People We Choose” by Katelyn Detweiler in which a teenage girl seeks to find her sperm donor dad, and discovers family is both the one she’s born into and the one she chooses to make.
“Adventures with My Daddies,” from Peachtree Publishing, written by Gareth Peter and illustrated by Garry Parsons, sees daddies and their little one battling dragons, dodging dinos, and zooming to the moon.
Jia Le Lim of Simply Family Dog, which helps people better understand their pups, suggested a couple of fun books. First is “Stella Brings the Family” by Miriam B. Schiffer and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown. It’s from the viewpoint of a little girl whose class is having a Mother’s Day celebration. The only problem is that Stella has two dads! She also added Michael Joosten’s classics “My Two Dads and Me” and “My Two Moms and Me” board books that celebrate same-gender parents.
Eric Sanders, the founder of iActivation, whose goal is to make technology work for everyone, told me about Christy Tyner’s great book “Zak’s Safari.” It’s the story about the donor-conceived kid of a two-mom family.
My dear friend Amy Palmer, who is always giving me fabulous book ideas, told me there are two books for older kids that I absolutely had to include. The first is “The Guncle” by Steven Rowley. Gay Uncle Patrick has to step in and be the primary caregiver to his niece and nephew when tragedy hits their family. The second book is “Cool for the Summer” by Dahlia Adler. It’s all about Lara finally getting somewhere with the boy of her dreams, only to realize she can’t stop thinking about a romantic and confusing summer spent with another girl.
In the latest addition to Quirk Books’ travelogue series, “Little Kid, Big City!: London,” author Beth Beckman and illustrator Holley Maher allow the reader to explore the British capital as they follow the adventures of a young girl and her two moms.
If graphic novels are more the kids’ style, TidalWave Comics has new offerings in their FAME series, including “FAME: Pride.” In it, the young adults in your life can learn about gay dads like Anderson Cooper, Tom Daly, and Ryan Murphy, as well as Sec. Pete Buttigieg and the late and beyond great Freddie Mercury. Their latest “Female FORCE: Pride LGBTQ+” includes awesome women like Ellen DeGeneres, Joan Jett, Kristen Stewart, Jane Lynch, and lesbian mom Rosie O’Donnell standing up for who they are and what they believe in.
Don’t let the kids and teenagers in your life sit around bored all summer. Encourage them to be like our friends’ daughter and grab a book! You should be able to find all these books and many other great titles at The King’s English Bookshop. If they don’t have it, they’re glad to order it for you if they can.