Friday, January 2, 2015

The Family Fletcher Rules!



Sunrise from the ferry, 7:20 am December 31

Sunrise today was at 7:58, Sunset will be at 4:29. 

Ah, it’s a new year – it’s cloudy and cold today, it looks like rain, but yesterday, the actual New Year’s Day, was cold and clear and stunningly beautiful.  D and I walked at Seward Park and watched the birds and then watched football.  Go Ducks!  It was an almost perfect way to start the year.

Resolutions?  I am going to read at least one non-fiction adult book, one fiction adult book a month, and fill in the rest with genre books (mysteries, science fiction, romance) and teen and kid’s books.  I realize that I’m missing a lot of really good literature out there and I should truly widen my views.  I’m looking forward to the challenge of not only reading all these books, but writing about them in a timely way, too!

I just discovered a new favorite book, thanks to my new friend, editor Sharyn November, The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, a big rambunctious family filled with boys and two dads, soccer games, mud and dirt, new schools, new friends (both real and not), and lots of books and love.  There’s a curmudgeon next door (who has his own issues), neighbors who care about the family, a skunk, and parties and handmade skating rinks….if you love the Penderwicks, you will love the Family Fletcher.

The Family Fletcher is an alternative one, although, can you really say that, today?  We’ve been living with all kinds of families in our neighborhoods for years…But I think this is one of the first mainstream middle grade books I’ve read about a family with same sex parents (and not just one family with same sex parents, but TWO!) who are not shy about showing their affection for each other and their children.  When they introduce themselves to new teachers or neighbors, they are clear about who they are and what they decided to do with their lives.  One of the best scenes is where Frog, age 6, explained to new friends where the babies in the family came from and how their dads decided to get married.
 
This book is so much fun!  I think boys are going to love it and I think families will love reading it out loud (oh, yes, you will recognize yourselves in this book). It’s funny and heartwarming, I had tears in my eyes a couple of times, I snorted once and laughed out loud a lot.  The dads really have their hands full and the boys are boys who love what boys love.  The chapter heads are notes from the dads to the kids reminding them of chores or things to do and they are hysterical. 
 
Give yourself a break and read The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, by Dana Alison Levy.  You will have such a good time!  Ms. Levy:  Please write more stories about the Fletchers!  

Please support your local bookshop if you have one, if you don't have one, Eagle Harbor Book Company would be happy to fill that empty space.  Everyone needs a book community and we'd love to be yours.

(Delacorte Books for Young Readers.  Ages 8+.  Available now.  $15.99.)

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