Second Dad Summer

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 4 Aug 2020 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2020
Red Chair Press, One Elm Books

Talking about this book? Use #oneelmbooks #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Jeremiah just wants a normal summer with his dad. But his dad has moved in with his new boyfriend Michael who serves weird organic food and is constantly nagging him. Worst of all, Michael rides a bicycle decorated to look like a unicorn. This is not the summer Jeremiah wanted. But Jeremiah soon learns that being a family comes in many surprising forms.

Jeremiah just wants a normal summer with his dad. But his dad has moved in with his new boyfriend Michael who serves weird organic food and is constantly nagging him. Worst of all, Michael rides a...

A Note From the Publisher

Due to the results of the Pandemic, the release date is moved from May to August 4 to allow Bookstores and wholesalers more time to recover.

Due to the results of the Pandemic, the release date is moved from May to August 4 to allow Bookstores and wholesalers more time to recover.

Advance Praise

"Along with a cornucopia of discussion topics and an array of positive role models, this debut never seems overstuffed." -- ALA Booklist, Starred Review, March 2020
A young man learns about Pride, tolerance, and acceptance in this heartwarming debut.Klas' novel is a timely salute to the evolving picture of a traditional American family.The author's mastery of the subject is evident in the smallest details of the world he creates.  Touching and unforgettable.   --Kirkus Reviews Dec 18, 2019
"The characters are vibrant, and the novel is welcoming and inclusive...Insightful and sensitive...all about the meaning of family and the value of acceptance."  -- Foreword Reviews 2020

"Along with a cornucopia of discussion topics and an array of positive role models, this debut never seems overstuffed." -- ALA Booklist, Starred Review, March 2020
A young man learns about Pride...

Marketing Plan

--Author Signings and Booktalks--National and Regional Advertising--Radio and Blog interviews--Free Discussion Guide available online--National ABA and ALA trade shows 

--Author Signings and Booktalks--National and Regional Advertising--Radio and Blog interviews--Free Discussion Guide available online--National ABA and ALA trade shows 

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781947159242
PRICE US$16.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 56 members

Featured Reviews

Jeremiah’s parents are divorced so he spends the summers with his Dad….and now his Dad’s new boyfriend, Michael. Michael rides a bicycle decorated to look like a unicorn. He is flashy, serves organic food, and most annoying of all to Jeremiah, he is constantly nagging him—or at least that’s what Jeremiah thinks when Michael is constantly asking questions and trying to help. Jeremiah would much rather it be just him and his Dad, but it appears that those times are in the past. Luckily Jeremiah makes a few friends over the summer to help him cope with the changes in his family situation. And before you know it, things begin to change…somewhat.
I really enjoyed this book. Jeremiah’s annoyance of all things Michael made me laugh, but I also had sympathy for him due to the changes in his family situation. I like the fact that this book addresses so many issues facing our youth today: divorce, two Dads, two Moms, LGBTQ, etc. I found it interesting the differences in flag representation and thought that it was timely to have someone ask about preference for pronouns. Our world has changed, and I think it is important to be as inclusive as possible. This book will go a long way toward helping children to understand that although we are all different, we are all very much the same. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to review this book.

Was this review helpful?

I loved every inch of this book. It had all the components of a fantastic book: diversity, inclusion, love, friendship, death, and gardening! It is so important for readers to be able to see themselves in books or to be able to live a vicarious experience through a character unlike themselves (books as mirrors, windows, or sliding glass doors (Rudine Sims Bishop). This is the first book I've ever read that is meant for middle grade youth and uses the word bisexual. I wish I had been able to read a book like this one when I was in middle school. I laughed, cried, and cheered along with Jeremiah as he navigated spending the summer with his father and his boyfriend and making new friendship with Sage and Mr. Keeler. I was able to relate to so many parts of this story and I enjoyed the Minneapolis setting. It felt like I was reading about people I knew. Thank you Benjamin Klas for writing this much needed book. You knocked it out of the park and I hope you have a sequel in the works. These characters are too rich and important to stop at just one story.

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely wonderful. Well geared toward the 3rd-8th grade set, it really does well in showing the emotions of coming to terms with a new loved one in a parent's life, especially when a parent "comes out" later in life. LOVED the ending, and how Jeremiah showed that he was okay with his father's choice of partner. The story flows well with the right balance of light-hearted fun and deeper emotional growth for all characters. Probably one of the best kids books I have read in a while. Will be recommending it to all my reading groups that deal with kids.

Was this review helpful?

This book is a great way to bring acceptance from a young age to lgbtq couples and their children. I think it was a good story, but it was a little long for children with the message it is trying to send. I think this would be great as a picture book or with a few less chapters. The chapter book style allowed more depth into the story.

Was this review helpful?

A great book, about how people slot into our lives, even when we try to keep them out a really lovely , touching story.

Was this review helpful?

Second Dad Summer was the best children's books I've read in a long time! The message of acceptance and love it portrays is absolutely amazing and much needed. Would highly recommend!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley as well as Benjamin Klas for the opportunity to read Second Dad Summer. I realized after many years that people want to be accepted for their choices. This book has a look at that. As a child, we are not asked if we want to accept everything but are put into the flow. This book looks at many areas and I am not going to really display my view on this at this time but I know this book is trying to display choices. Well read.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book. I think writing a book for children about having two parents of the same sex is incredibly refreshing. Children who are in Jeremiah's same position need books like this. I also like that the story talked about going to events like Pride.

Was this review helpful?

4* A decent tale, sad and sweet, but it ends in a good place. I just wish that Jeremiah...

... hadn't been prejudiced at 12yo against Michael. I kind of wanted him to have a big epiphany over that, which didn't happen.

This is a nicely written tale that focuses very much on the kids in this tale and on gender, but not so much on the grown-ups in the tale, which I liked. I mean, the could-be stepdad, Michael, and Jeremiah's dad, Al/Allen, were there, as was the elderly crotchety Mr Keeler, but at the same time, we didn't get to see much of their issues (if they had any) and so the focus was on Jeremiah coming to terms with his changed thoughts, growing up a little and seeing the light and the decency inside Michael.

It was really well done, but I do think that because of the prejudice that Jeremiah had had about Michael, based on the latter's clear out'ness and gayness, that maybe Jeremiah could have said sorry. Yes, he was part of something very sweet at the end, but until then, he'd rebuffed Michael at pretty much every opportunity, so a bit of humble pie wouldn't have gone amiss.

I liked how the elderly Mr Keeler was taken care of and what the kids did for him. I liked seeing the diversity amongst the various people in the tale and the harmony between them all, and I liked the cameos from Jeremiah's mother and how she seemed really OK with her ex having moved on, with his sexuality and gender.

This was a great educational read that went on for longer than I expected and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Red Chair Press/One Elm Books for my reading pleasure.

Was this review helpful?

Well written and charming, without being artificial. I"d absolutely include this book in libraries for mid to upper elementary students as it offers many options for conversation not just about sexuality, gender, and related social issues, but also how we grow as people, what's expected of relationships, families, and forgiveness.

Was this review helpful?

Second Dad Summer, is a story about a 12 year old boy named Jeremiah, who just wants a normal summer with his dad. But his dad has moved in with his new boyfriend Michael who serves weird organic food and is constantly nagging him. Worst of all, Michael rides a bicycle decorated to look like a unicorn. This is not the summer Jeremiah wanted. But Jeremiah soon learns that being a family comes in many surprising forms.

This was a fun and quick read. Jeremiah and Michael where my 2 favorite characters throughout the story. Second Dad Summer, teaches you about, acceptance, friendships, pride and loss. I loved how the writer (Benjamin Klas) kept true to Jeremiah the main character, and took us on a journey of acceptance with him to the very end. The relationship that he formed with Mr. Keeler was probably my favorite, and it bummed me out that he had to die, but it was pretty obvious.

Over all this was a fun read, and will look out for more stories by the writer, You have a new follower.

Line out of the whole story that made me laugh out loud was "It's a baby, not a Pokemon card"

This is my honest opinion 4/5

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free e-arc for review.

Thirteen year old Jeremiah is spending the summer with his dad and his dad’s boyfriend, Michael. While Jeremiah has known for a long time that his dad is bisexual, he still isn’t super comfortable with Michael and struggles to form a connection with him.

I enjoyed this story, and I think the author did a great job of addressing LGTBQ+ issues from a young teenager’s perspective respectfully and honestly.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this, a very cute middle grade book about a kid whose dad is bisexual, and who has just moved in with another man. Looking forward to another book by this author!

Was this review helpful?

I thought this was a very careful look at coming to terms with a parent not always being who you thought they were. It also focuses on kindness and not falling for perceptions.

Was this review helpful?

A great middle grade story about family. What happens when your parents divorce and your dad dates other people? What happens when you don't like that person? This is a great story about dealing with new people, experiences, and how to never judge a book by it's cover.

Was this review helpful?

A compelling book about acceptance, community, and new beginnings.

As his parents are divorced, Jeremiah spends the school summer holidays with his dad. Only this time, it won't just be the two of them - Michael, his dad's annoying boyfriend will be there too. It's embarrassing when he rides around on a unicorn bike and attracts way too much attention. Jeremiah just wants it to be him and his dad. During his time outside (in an attempt to avoid Michael), Jeremiah meets Sage and they have a lot more in common than they first realize. He also meets a grumpy old neighbour, who clearly dislikes Michael (much to Jeremiah's satisfaction). But then something unexpected happens, bringing Michael and Jeremiah closer than either could have expected. Will Jeremiah finally accept him as a part of the family?

I really enjoyed this middle-grade book and thought it tackled the topic of LGBTQ+ sensitively yet thoroughly in a way that was engaging rather than forced. I'm so glad that the taboo is finally lifting, as this book highlighted that having LGBTQ+ family, friends, neighbours, etc is completely normal and not something to be ashamed or embarrassed by. My favourite quote from the book is where Sage and one of her mums, and Jeremiah and his dad are walking to the parade together. Jeremiah says "We probably look like a normal family" to which Sage replies "Not normal, just straight." I thought it was such a simple, yet powerful response that shows how being part of an LGTBQ+ family is no different than being part of a straight family. The characters were relatable and the whole story had a great pace with lots of action. I would 100% recommend this to all middle-graders and think the morals of love and acceptance are incredibly relevant.

Was this review helpful?

This book is so well done... loved every minute, reading it! I think what I loved the most about it was that author Benjamin Klas allowed his character, Jeremiah, to be so believable. Klas could have easily taken a stereotypical route with the story but his beautiful telling, through Jeremiah's eyes feels so natural.

I also really appreciated the characterizations of 'Dad and Second Dad' again, believable and wise. There are very nice subplot moments that really make this complete. I definitely recommend this for young readers. Nice illustrations too.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for and honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely loved this book. I think it's a must read for kids and teens. This story is just so heartwarming.
Jeremiah spends summer with his dad and his boyfriend. Micheal is loud and annoying, and has this awful bicycle. Jeremiah doesn't like him at all.
But it changes, slowly and surely. I was very happy to see it. Micheal was good for Jeremiah's dad and even Jeremiah could see it.
I really liked the diversity in this book.
And friendship between Jeremiah and Sage was so pure.
Also the illustrations were just amazing.
I really think there should be more books like this for kids and teens.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this graphic novel because of its art style and entrenching plot. I would highly recommend this to fans of graphic novels.

Was this review helpful?

I honestly enjoyed reading Second Dad Summer. It's fresh, well written and has good flow. It is so hard to find stories about same sex couples that are both realistic and entertaining. It was a great coming to terms with a parent in a new relationship story. Readers of all ages can appreciate this novel.

Was this review helpful?

cute! cute! cute! this is such a good little book!! i think this was so important and very cute. more gay parents in fiction!!!

Was this review helpful?

The book ended?! What?
Seriously! Why?
I wanted more!
I have never read a middle grade fiction this down to earth which made me cry tears of sadness and happiness at the same time.

The story is so heartwarming. And the characters are so well developed. The character representation is well done and this is one of those unbelievably short books where there are multiple characters which are developed really good.
Even though I would say the main theme tackled of the plot is LGBTQ/sexuality representation, it's more so about acceptance and found family. I never thought this book would be this hard hitting.
It has been incredibly written. I learnt a lot of things regarding gender and sexuality. The writing doesn't go overboard when it comes to the explanations and discussion. I cannot explain how well the author has written about such topics.
I totally love the character dynamics. There's the girl Sage who came be friends with Jeremiah (our main protagonist). I just love her personality and the way she handles tough situations in a very sensible way for her age. And yes, she has two moms who I adore a lot! The story starts with Jeremiah having difficulties in facing the divorce of his parents and living with his dad and his boyfriend, Michael. And there's one special character, the old mean neighbour, Mr. Kleeney.

This book handles some other sensitive issues like death and grieve. It simply broke my heart but the way this book has been written is so damn amazing that it makes me hopeful instead of getting lost in a world of sadness and tears.
Everything was good but from sixty percent of the book onwards I was tearing up for every page till the last page. Damn. Wearing long sleeves won't be enough. Keep a box of tissues nearby when you read this one.

This book is so well done.
And yes, this is going to be in the list of my most favourite middle grade books of all times.

Seriously, #NetGalley I am so indebted to you for this amazing book #SecondDadSummer

*I started reading this book at the beginning of March 2020, deliberately left it at around sixty percent and picked it up again in April 2020 because the book was so good and it fitted perfectly for the PRIDE month!
And that is the only time I saved something really good to celebrate something important.

And you know what?
I remembered each and every character, each and every scene and dialogue exchanges between the characters when I picked it up again after a gap of almost one month.
Yes, this book is incredible I told you!

Was this review helpful?

Jeremiah spends his summers with his dad. This summer he will be spending it with his dad but he will also have to spend it with Michael, his dad's new boyfriend. Michael is always nagging Jeremiah as well as eating strange organic food, and riding a glittery bike with a stuffed unicorn head on the front.

This book was everything that I wanted it to be and so much more. All of the LGBTQ+ characters (which was almost everyone except Jeremiah) were unapologetically themselves without being stereotypes. The book also touched on some heavier subjects like Stonewall, death, and AIDs.

It was a brilliant book and would recommend to readers both young and old.

Was this review helpful?

Second Dad Summer is a fantastically written book which covers so many various areas: friends, family, diversity, love and death.
I think this is a really great book to teach children the meaning of family and how it can come in various forms.
I felt this book explained the topic of LGBTQ+ in a really effective and engaging way without overloading the reader with a lot of information. It dealt with the topic sensitively but ensured a point was made and understood.
I will definitely be recommending this book to customers in work I absolutely loved it.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book to review.

Was this review helpful?

<i>"And you're sure you hate Michael?" Sage asked.

"Yeah," I said. "At least, I was sure. And I don't like changing my mind."</i>

This was an extremely charming read, light-hearted and sweet, funny and mild, while also tackling a few serious issues in a way that's perfect for younger readers. Jeremiah is chill with his parents' divorce, and his dad being bi; he's not so chill with his dad's new boyfriend Michael, with his unicorn bike and fussy parenting tips and organic food. Over the summer Jeremiah makes a few new friends, changes a few attitudes, and learns a bit more about the nature of growing things. The book was very grounded, kind of matter-of-fact in the way it approached certain issues, and I found I appreciated that. We see a bit of all sides of the LGBTQ community, which is just great to see in a book for kids. I loved Jeremiah as a protagonist; a little long-suffering and set in his ways, but also open-minded and really good-hearted. I was rooting for him through all the highs and lows. I loved all the art as well.

I do think that the blurb can stand to be revised a bit, so that it gives away just a bit less info?

This was a wonderful read; it makes me so happy that kids have access to books like these. We need more of them in the world.

Was this review helpful?

This is a fast-paced and lean middle grade novel that packs an emotional punch without feeling cheap or manipulative. It dares to make the young protagonist flawed and a bit close-minded. And yet the author doesn’t make him unsympathetic. We know he’ll come around and become a more accepting human being by the end. The book has a breeziness to it—the characters breathe and nothing feels contrived.

Was this review helpful?

This was a great book! It was engaging and adorable, and did a great job of merging lessons about lgbt topics with telling a relatable and interesting story.

Was this review helpful?

A very gentle story of a 12 year old boy learning to be tolerant of other people even those he doesn’t like. A sentimental romance story of two dads seeking approval of the boy. A pleasant read that doesn’t take too long to read

Was this review helpful?

Wow, this book was special. It tells the story of a twelve-year-old named Jeremiah, who spends his summers with his dad. This summer his Dad has a boyfriend, Michael who is trying to build a relationship with Jeremiah. Jeremiah is not quite ready for any of these changes. Along the way, he meets a girl named Sage and a curmudgeon named Mr. Keeler. They along with his father and Michael help him realize how special his family is.

A heartfelt story, that I fully enjoyed. I loved Michael so much. This had a great message for young readers that I believe stands out. It also shows the LGBTQ community in an accessible way. I loved how open Jeremiah's father Al was with his bisexuality. The way the author weaved this into his story was so well done along with the many other topics, such as death, friendships, and acceptance. Overall, this was an impactful book that I highly recommend. I cannot wait to pick up my own copy.

Was this review helpful?

There is hope for Middle Grade fiction.

It is rare that any story evokes a laugh-out-loud moment from me, a feeling of melancholy or even tears. That Benjamin Klas managed to do all three in his book is, well, astounding. Written at an uncomplicated Middle Grade level (ages 8-12), "Second Dad Summer" excels both in its simplicity and depth. Klas’ debut novel shines by highlighting incredibly detailed characters, nuanced plot points and a warm, narrative flow.

The story revolves around Jeremiah, who visits his Dad for the Summer. Dad, as it turns out, has a live-in boyfriend who is constantly trying to ingratiate himself into Jeremiah’s life. Jeremiah, as most kids who are going through new circumstances, is none-to-pleased. Add a cranky neighbor, a mom who lives miles away but calls routinely to check-in, and a new friend to the mix, for the makings of a summer with interesting and surprising plot twists. No, the biggest twist is not that Dad has a boyfriend. That’s established in the first couple of pages. More interesting things are in store. But this review, is spoiler free!

Klas’ use of language is both sophisticated and nuanced. While still keeping the reading ability of his target audience in mind, Klas manages to evoke complicated feelings and thoughts. His characters speak in plain words, but imagery still flows. For example, Jeremiah observes: “[w]e all sat down, Dad between Michael and me, connecting us and thankfully separating us too.” Yet another example: “[e]ven though I knew I needed to, it felt wrong to break apart the roots which clung so tightly to the soil they had known for so long.” The ability to write in pictures is rare. To see it in a debut story is rarer. To see it in a story for the Middle Grade level is rarer still. This is Karl’s first book; hopefully it’s the first of many.

My one quibble with the book is the illustrations. Notably, Jeremiah’s Dad does not live up to the description in the story; and, Michael is virtually always in the same stereotypical effeminate pose. Fortunately, the illustrations are brief and do not detract from an otherwise outstanding debut.

This is a definite buy and keep for the Middle Grade level. It should be a part of any well-rounded library. And that's, why it stays on my bookshelf. [End.]

Was this review helpful?

Jeremiah's parents are divorced, and he looks forward to spending the summer with his dad every year. But this year, Michael, Dad's boyfriend, is hanging around. Over the course of the summer, Jeremiah explores his own feelings about Michael and his dad, as well as his feelings about friendship and family. I liked this book a lot. It touched heavy topics without being preachy; everything felt natural. I liked that Jeremiah had complicated feelings about the attention Michael gets for expressing queer pride. It's realistic for a child his age to be working through what it means to have same-sex parents, and his exploration rang true.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! Second Dad Summer is a fun, warm, and connected story which features an exciting cast of characters. Jeremiah, the main character, is relatable and honest and the cast of characters which surround him (particularly his sidekick Sage) do a fantastic job of rounding out the entire story. It is SO important for children to see themselves in literature and to see families which look like them - and this book does that so beautifully.

The thing I appreciated most about this book, however, was the way the author was able to weave in so many different topics (LGBT, death, etc.) in a way which never felt forced - they felt natural. As they should! LGBT families, death, friends, becoming comfortable with yourself - these are all natural things which occur in our world!

This was a joy to read and HIGHLY recommend!

Was this review helpful?

This! Was! So! Cute!

Written by anyone else, Jeremiah wouldn’t be as well developed and would come across as annoying, but his fears are valid and he has some really funny lines, especially when he’s coming up against Michael.

The side characters are also amazingly well written. Sage has two moms, and taught me about Hmong culture, which I actually never knew about before! And Michael’s cast of friends are incredible – they actually talk about marriage equality and if it’s assimilating into gay culture, and there’s a non-binary person who has such a funny description.

I also thought Mr Keeler would be the typical grumpy homophobe who is changed through ~love and acceptance~ but no! He’s gay himself! And he talks about fighting for gay rights and the Aids Crisis! Can you imagine my delight? A children’s book about the discourse between out&proud gays and fucktheyouth gays? Outstanding.

I know this is for middle-grade readers, but I would definitely recommend it.

Was this review helpful?

Even though this was a fairly simple story, I found it to be a nice, light and refreshing read. I thought that Jeremiah as a character was pretty realistic in the way that he handled his situation as a child in a new and seemingly strange situation. The ending was cute and made me chuckle a little. Overall it was a pretty good book.

Was this review helpful?

i found this to be endearing. Love the racially diverse friends and families. This book will open the minds and hearts of young readers.

Was this review helpful?

I would like to thank you for the eARC of this book which was kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Second Dad Summer is a middle-grade novel about the boy named Jeremiah and his wish to have a normal summer with his dad. However, his dad now has a boyfriend named Michael which Jeremiah really hates (at the beginning). This story shows how Jeremiah is spending his summers and how he develops relationships with others and how he meets new people and how they affect him. I like the inner dialogue of Jeremiah and how you could see how he feels in certain situations. I think it is a very good book for middle graders to read because it has diverse characters and it deals with various emotions: love, grief, acceptance. The illustrations were beautiful and the author did a great job by showing the diversity and how normal is to have two mums or two dads or to use the pronoun they.

Was this review helpful?

I received an advanced reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

4.5 star review.
What an absolutely adorably heart warming read this book is!
This book has so much depth to it and I loved how real the story was.
The book has great family dynamics, friendships, loss, love and even gardening within its pages and I absolutely loved it.

I was so sad the book ended as I could of continued reading it forever! I really hope there will be a second book.

Was this review helpful?

Since his parents divorced, Jeremiah spends the summer holidays with his father. Just the two of them sharing adventures. But this year they’re joined by Michael, her father’s boyfriend.

Jeremiah doesn’t like Michael very much. He’d like to be able to spend the holidays as usual alone with his father without Michael who is unable to go unnoticed ever. He doesn’t understand his obsession with organic food or why he’s hanging around with questions all day. Jeremiah is so self-centered that he is unable to see Michael’s efforts to become his friend, to like him and to feel accepted.

Sitting outside his house, Jeremiah thought about how to spend the holidays in the best possible way, when Sage appeared. A very nice girl with whom he immediately made friends and who managed to get him out of his comfort zone and break the patterns.

Both children are very different. Jeremiah’s parents are open-minded, but he has grown up full of prejudices and preconceived ideas that suddenly run into Sage’s reality and life.

Sage, on the other hand, is a very mature girl for her age. She tackles all the themes very naturally, without prejudice and with an amazing simplicity. She is a very positive character with a lot of weight in the plot.

On this holidays Jeremiah not only discovers a beautiful city, open and with a great cultural diversity, but also by the hand of Sage learns to open his mind and listen to his heart to set aside everything that prevents him from being happy and focusing on what really matters.

Second Dad Summer has surprised me a lot and for good. It’s one of the few books designed for a young audience that tackles so well, in such a natural, simple and straightforward way a variety of sensitive and controversial topics like death, divorce, sexuality, diversity of genres and new types of family according to current reality and not archaic models.

But it is also a book that tells us about acceptance, love, tolerance and freedom to be how and who you want in every moment. It reads quickly and leaves you wanting more. It is both didactic and enjoyable. From my point of view, it should be among the recommended readings in schools.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book!! I think it is so important to teach children when they are most impressionable and this book had so many lessons. I was particularly impressed with the teaching regarding pronouns.

Was this review helpful?

Things aren’t always as we perceive them.

Jeremiah’s summer is different than planned. He has looked forward to spending time with his dad, but his dad’s boyfriend, Michael, is there. Jeremiah is determined to not like Michael. Michael rides a colorful bike, cooks organic food, and tries hard to get to know Jeremiah, even though Jeremiah goes out of his way to show Michael he wants nothing to do with him.

Jeremiah is getting more out of sorts, until he meets Sage. As he and Sage get to know each other, Jeremiah starts enjoying his summer more. Little by little, he realizes that Michael is a good man, and best of all, Michael makes his dad happy.

Jeremiah learns to be himself and accept others as they are. He learns that appearances can be deceiving; there is more to people than what he sees.

This book helps fill a gap in representation and teaches readers a little about history that is often left out of official school curricula. It also helps readers see below the surface of people’s appearances and learn acceptance.

I received a free eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed Second Dad Summer by Benjamin Klas. It is an enjoyable middle grade novel full of diverse characters of various sexualities, races, and genders. These characters are enjoyable and well-formed in a way that children will relate to them.

Below this point there may be spoilers.

There were several aspects I wish would have been cleared up in the narrative. One character continually calls another a "pansy", which is not a kind word to call someone. It is revealed that this character is gay, and that he fought for gay rights at Stonewall. It is obvious that this bothers Michael, as his treatment of Michael does. The readers' sympathy for this character is supposed to be formed through Jeremiah having formed this bond with him, that he doesn't like Michael - because Jeremiah doesn't like Michael either. Though Jeremiah does have a moment later on where he realizes the reason he liked Mr. Keeler was that Mr. Keeler didn't like Michael,I wish it had been more explicitly stated that what Mr. Keeler was doing was a form of homophobia. It does not matter that Mr. Keeler was gay, this was still an act of homophobia by him.

There was another reader who mentioned they wished Jeremiah had realized more explicitly that he'd been prejudiced against Michael, and I agree. Much of that prejudice came from wanting his parents to get back together and not from the fact that Michael is a gay man, but this can often get lost, so I'm unsure how I feel about that.

Neither of these two things detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book. It was a great display of friendship, specifically between Sage and Jeremiah, and a good display of divorced parents still getting along and working towards the well-being of their child. The interjection of various parts of queer culture were also great to see in a middle grade novel, as these are things that kids should be aware of but might not be.

I enjoyed reading this novel, and I think that kids will too.

Was this review helpful?

When I was a child I used to sleep with my favourite books under my pillow. I loved this book and I think it would have spent a lot of time under my childhood pillow. I don't generally read children's books but this caught my eye on Netgalley. It is a really lovely story focusing on family, friends, love and acceptance.

Jeremiah's parents are divorced. He usually spends the summer with his dad but this year his dad (who is bisexual) has a new boyfriend called Michael. Jeremiah thinks Michael is irritating. He behaves like a tour guide when they are out together, he rides a ridiculous bicycle and he keeps wanting to involve Jeremiah in things. Thankfully there are other interesting people in their apartment block, like the grumpy elderly neighbour and the young girl with two mums, but Jeremiah still has to stay with Michael and his dad, although he wishes he could have his dad to himself.

Over the summer Jeremiah begins to learn how to appreciate family and friends and he gets a chance to be a friend and be part of a family and maybe Michael may not be that bad after all.

This is a lovely book with pictures as well. I enjoyed how it explored Jeremiah's feelings and his relationships with the people in his life. It was very heartwarming and I loved it so much I ordered a copy for myself. Perhaps I might keep this copy under my pillow.

A lovely book for both children and adults.

Copy provided via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Was this review helpful?

Klas addresses the generational gaps in the LGBTQ+ community, brutality towards LGBTQ+ peoples, the importance of the use of someone’s right pronouns, and acceptance.

The story revolves around Jeremiah, a young boy who is adjusting to his father having a new boyfriend and spending the summer with them. Jeremiah starts in the story not accepting of Michael, and he meets Sage, the little girl across the street who he befriends. Jeremiah displays subtle homophobia, which could be because of his mother calling his father bisexuality “gay-ish” and “diet gay”. Near the middle we learn a backstory of Michael, and that is when Jeremiah starts on the path of learning and acceptance with the help of his friends and family.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book.

This book was awesome! It was great.

What I liked about it was the writing style. It felt very easy and nice to read. The way it was written, it felt like a twelve year old was telling the story. The pace was very good. It was also a nice length.

The representation in this book went through the roof, it was amazing! A lot of the LGBT+ identities were mentioned in this book. The MC didn't have a lot of knowledge, which was nice, because you (and children) could learn with him. The rep also didn't feel forced and pretty casual with a couple of questions from the MC here and there.

The story itself was super nice and had a great build up.

Overall: it was just awesome and I recommend it to every child and adult!

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars. This was a really sweet, heartwarming and important story. The characters and their relationships are wonderfully developed and I really enjoyed reading about them.

I’d have really liked it if the story was fleshed out a little more and it didn’t quite give me that 4 star feeling which is why I gave it 3.5 stars instead of 4. Definitely recommend checking this book out, would be especially accessible for a child who has a parent in a new same sex relationship.

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for early access to this book.

Was this review helpful?

This was such a great read!
All Jeremiah wants is to have a normal summer with his father, but to his dismay his father has moved in with his quirky new boyfriend who is far from normal and overly flamboyant.
This story is about acceptance, family and learning to love.

Eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series

Was this review helpful?

Premise: Son of a divorced dad struggles with his dad’s flamboyant boyfriend. Through caring for others and a small apartment garden, he grows to appreciate they boyfriend’s presence in his and his dad’s life.

As a gay single-parent and author, I absolutely loved this book and all it represents. The story is a great read and direct about shades of queer and generational differences of opinions within the LGBTQ+ community. Thank you, Mr. Klas for putting a new voice out there for middle school readers. The only critique I would have is that the illustrations and cover, although of great quality, suggest a younger audience. It’s firmly in the middle-grade reading level.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book - when it ended, I wanted to read more about Jeremiah, his Dad and Michael. Maybe it will be the start of a series? A sweet middle school book about differences and learning to love, in all its forms. Jeremiah is spending the summer with his Dad and his Dad's new boyfriend, Michael. Michel is loud and proud and Jeremiah knows he is uncomfortable with him. Will he be able to accept Michael into his life? This book not only has well-developed secondary characters, it acts as a great middle school introduction to the LGBTQ community, learning alongside Jeremiah new terms and history of the community, integrated deftly into the story. It acts as a love letter to Minneapolis, creating a strong setting that is used as almost another character in the story. It also brings up other topics, such as death, divorce and grief. It is truly the story of family, in all its forms, and the surprises life can give us when we lean into relationships and get to know people on a deeper level. I will be adding this book to my classroom, and will strong recommend Second Dad Summer to my students. A big thank you to NetGalley and One Elm Books for the Advanced Copy!

Was this review helpful?

This book should be in all middle school libraries!
What was I thinking- it should be in all libraries! And I think required reading for all middle school students, and maybe even those younger- it'd be a perfect read for parents and kids to discuss.

Second Dad Summer is an entertaining, heart-warming, thought-provoking read. Jeremiah learns a lot about himself, life, love, and friendship the summer he spends with his dad, and his dad's new boyfriend. I loved the relationships that were built and developed in this book and I liked how Jeremiah started to see things, and people, in a different light. His friendship with Sage especially helped him in that respect. She made him see that "normal" wasn't necessarily better.
I loved how diverse this book was, in all aspects. And how things were presented in an age-appropriate manner, but didn't shy away from some tough topics

I really enjoyed everything about this sweet story, even if it made me cry!

Was this review helpful?

Jeremiah is spending the summer with his dad and his dad’s boyfriend, Michael. While Jeremiah has known for a long time that his dad is bisexual, he still isn’t comfortable with Michael and struggles to form a connection with him.

I loved the storyline and Jeremiah learns to accept Michael for how he is.

I would highly recommend this book to everone and think this should be in every school's library.

#oneelmbooks #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

Charming, funny, and heartwarming. Second Dad Summer is a story about growth, prejudice, acceptance, and family.

Since his parents are divorced, Jeremiah spends the summer with his dad and his dad's new very flamboyant boyfriend. Jeremiah hates how Michael acts and how much attention he draws, but over the course of the book Jeremiah has to reevaluate his feelings.

One of my favorite moments is this simple interaction: When Jeremiah and his friend Sage go to the parade together with her two mom's and Jeremiah's dad and his boyfriend, Jeremiah turns to Sage and says, "We probably look like a normal family." Sage responds, "Not normal, just straight."

Was this review helpful?

This book leaves you wanting more. I loved every bit of this book. It had everything you need for a great middle grade book diversity, inclusion, love, friendship, family bonding, death, acceptance, and much more. There are multiple characters in this story that are really well written. The story is about Jeremiah finding acceptance and redeveloping his bond with his father and his father’s life style. This book really deals with some sensitive issues really well. Jeremiah did not really accept who his dad was as a person until he met a girl that lives across the street from this dad’s apartment named Sage. This book is great to read anytime of the year but especially good to read during PRIDE month. This is a great read for middle grade students that may have trouble dealing with parents that may be apart of the LGBT+ community. You will laugh, you will cry and you will cheer and by the end this book will leave you wanting more. Thank you Netgalley and publishers Red Chair/One Elm for the opportunity to read this book in advance.

Was this review helpful?

The main character of this book had to deal with a lot of changes in his life—still dealing with his parents' divorce and living in a different city over the summers, now he has to make new friends, handle a grumpy new neighbor, find things to do while his dad is at work, and somehow deal with his dad's extremely embarrassing boyfriend. All of this is tackled with care, appropriately for the intended agegroup and kept interesting, without dumbing anything down.

Was this review helpful?

Jeremiah just wants to enjoy the summer with his dad but has a hard time adjusting to his new stepdad who constantly embarrasses him.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: