Proud of Me
Twelve-year-old Becky and Josh have the same anonymous donor father but are born eight days apart, by each of their mums – so they have grown up like twins.
Only lately they’ve started feeling more separate from each other: Josh is desperate to find their donor dad and Becky is trying to work out her feelings for Carli, a new American girl at school. Things feel especially difficult when Carli’s parents try to get the school’s new LGBTQ club banned. Becky and Josh both want their mums to be proud of them, but can they even accept themselves? The story reaches a dramatic and climactic head at their mum’s surprise 50th birthday party.
This beautifully written middle grade book is perfect for children who are just starting secondary school, when friendships and relationships with parents can change and feel a bit more complicated. It’s narrated in alternate chapters from Becky and Josh, which works well. The book explores first relationships and different types of friendships, and the support and strength you can get from others. The book will make readers think and inspire important conversations but it’s also an amusing read.
The characters of Becky and Josh feel very real and their concerns jump off the page straight into your heart. It’s good to read an everyday family story of LGBTQ life that’s perfect for any middle grade reader – and the real-life experience of the author shines through the book in a completely unpreachy way.