Children's Books, LGBTQ+

Second Dad Summer by Benjamin Klas | NetGalley Review | Booksmagick


What’s it about?

Jeremiah spends every summer with his dad Al but this time around there’s also Michael, Al’s new boyfriend. Jeremiah is sure that he doesn’t like him very much – he keeps nagging him and rides a bicycle decorated as a unicorn. But Jeremiah has the entire summer to make some new friends and enjoy time with his dad. Or maybe dads?


What I think about it

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I think we need more books with LGBTQ+ topics for children! Just stories where same-sex couples with children are portrayed like any ordinary family out there. Representation matters and I think it’s important to normalise queer families in books.

The book focuses on family, friendship and community. Jeremiah learns to accept that he might have two dads soon, he makes friends and learns about the LGBTQ+ community. A clever ploy to inform the reader on LGBTQ+ topics as well.

The story was quite predictable but not in a bad way. I was curious to see how we would end up where I knew the book was going. It’s definitely a summer read for hot days and the story just kind of flows. Sometimes it was a bit slow and I felt that there could’ve been a few less chapters.

The biggest issue I had with the book were the illustrations. I loathed them. Initially, I was unsure about the cover and whether I wanted to read it but decided to give it a go all the same. There are illustrations accompanying the text and I found the art style just creepy and over the top.

Second Dad Summer stays mostly light-hearted. I say mostly because of Mr. Keeler and his character arc. He is a grouchy old man who smokes two packs of cigarettes a day and loves flowers. While he has every right to be bitter and grouchy – especially once you know his past – I didn’t like him calling Michael a pansy every time he saw him. That was unnecessary.


Conclusion

A short summer read about friendship and family. The story is rather predictable but with a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. I loved the LGBTQ+ aspects of the book and the way queer families were portrayed and normalised. Representation matters!


  • Author: Benjamin Klas
  • Illustrator: Flan Arroyo
  • Pages: 224
  • For Ages: 8 and up
  • Publisher: Red Chair Press
  • Release Date: May 5th, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781947159242

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