My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family
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My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  566 ratings  ·  135 reviews
A resounding testament to individuality and the power of family in all forms from the young man who "lit up the Internet" (Ellen DeGeneres)
On January 31, 2011, Zach Wahls addressed the Iowa House Judiciary Committee in a public forum regarding full marriage equality. The nineteen-year-old son of a same-sex couple, Wahls proudly proclaimed, "The sexual orientation of my pa...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published April 26th 2012 by Gotham Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Zoe
I want to make it clear: I think Zach Wahls is a great guy. He’s smart, articulate, brave, and endearing. He’s got a great sense of humor and a nice, hard jawline. He would undoubtedly wipe the floor with me in any kind of serious debate, so I’m hoping I never find myself in one with him. That said, I have some problems with the paradigm of his book, My Two Moms, in which he shares stories about his childhood in a home with lesbian mothers, Terry and Jackie.

Their family’s story is moving and Zac...more
Sara
Fair warning: I am biased. I know this author. He babysits my kids. He even mentions he was supposed to babysit for us the night he went to speak at the Iowa House (on page 203). He is awesome and I hope he always connects with my kids and is someone they aspire to be like.

What I LOVE about the book itself is that he digs into his life experience with his family and illustrates the "values" his family has. It is beautiful. It gives me hope. And I truly hope his new campaign "Out to Dinner" works...more
Jenna
For more reviews please visit www.canneryrowreads.com

I've shied away from reviewing any books that may be seen as politically controversial on this blog but this book was too good to pass up for a review. As some of you have read this may know already, I am as liberal as they come. I interned for the very progressive Senator Feingold while in college and will passionately defend my beliefs to the death.

But this book opened up even my eyes to things about the LGBT movement I had never considered...more
Jessie Potts
Warning this book contains a same sex couple who feels like it’s their right to be able to raise a child.

While that may seem like a dumb statement I feel like it should be said again. If same sex couples raising children isn’t something you believe in, and you don’t want to open your mind then pass on this book. For the rest of you out there this was a touching a sweet story of Zach Wahls and his two mothers.

Wahls was on the Daily show, which originally got me interested in reading his book. He...more
Sam
Objectively, I should give this book 4 stars: 5 for content, 3 for writing and pacing, but I'm letting my heart have the lion's share of the vote on this one.

First, my quibbles: the author uses the 12 principles/character traits he learned in Boy Scouting to talk about his upbringing and civil rights for gays. The problem is that he jumps all over the place chronologically, and it is very hard to keep track of what else is going on in his life at certain junctures. For example, he talks about w...more
Kara Thomas
I first heard of Zach Wahls when his testimony went viral. I learned that he had written this book while watching The Daily Show. I put a copy on hold for myself from the library and I must say that it had the fewest amount of holds for any book that I have requested after seeing it on the Daily Show. I must say that I agree with him that one day I think my son's generation will wonder what the big deal was about allowing gay's the right to marry--just as I now do about segregation or interracia...more
Joan
Nov 30, 2012 Joan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: curious about civil rights.
Recommended to Joan by: My son Martin
I don't know that the writing deserves 4 stars to be real honest. However, the kid's courage and love deserves the 4 stars. He is a child of two parents who happen to be women. One is both his and his younger sister's biological mother. The other is her longtime partner who happens to be female. He states over and over again that his mothers' sexuality had no effect on his character. Their beliefs and moral stance had everything to do with his character, but not their sex. He adores the boy scou...more
Heidi Gonzalez
I was moved when I saw Zach Wahls address the Iowa Judiciary Committee it was hard to believe he was only 19 years old. Wahls book is about his family. Growing up with two moms and how although he doesn't have anything to compare it to he thinks it wasn't too much different than the way a lot of kids grow up. Sure there were times when he was picked on, or bullied because his family was different and there were times when he hid that he had two moms because he didn't want to be seen as different...more
Victoria
A young man gives more than a glimpse into his family life comprised of two moms and a younger sister. His moms used a parenting book on values by the Mormon couple Linda and Richard Eyre to help lead discussions at dinner time on what was expected of their children and why. His moms were also active in the cub and troop level in scouting where Zach achieved the rank of Eagle. He points out that his family is like any other where the struggle, love, and try to be good citizens.
Zach also points...more
John
I really enjoyed this book. I love hearing people's stories and Zach definitely had a story to tell. He is very insightful for someone his age and does a great job putting his thoughts to paper. This is the story of Zach Walls who was raised by lesbian parents and through stories from his life he illustrates how he was raised with a good value system.

As another reviewer stated Zach does often interrupt one story to tell another one, from some other time in his life, and then return to the origin...more
Kristen
If you grew up lucky enough to have two parents who loved you and taught you how to be a good person, then you have something in common with Zach Wahls. You might not have two moms like he does, but that doesn't really matter. At all. I was lucky enough that my two loving parents taught me that love is love, there is nothing wrong with same gendered couples and I have been lucky to always have great same sex couples in my life. If you know someone who isn't as lucky, but has at least a bit of an...more
Molly G
Even when you're already convinced of something, it's always good to keep expanding and refining your outlook. And sometimes it's just really cool and refreshing to hear/read things, which you may already think, expressed incredibly well. Plus, there's always more you hadn't thought of! Wahls's Speech & Debate and journalism experience show in his writing. Well constructed, well thought-out, well founded, and very engaging. There was a moment in the last third of the book where for some reas...more
Steve Fox
This book is by the young man who was a YouTube sensation after testifying before the Iowa legislature about being raised by two moms - in support of same-sex marriage. He has a great story. The book doesn't capture it as well as his video - part of what makes his story great is that he's this tall, handsome, white, well-spoken young man in support of something that is all too often stereotyped. He busts all those stereotypes. A great message, but the book could do a much better job of telling t...more
Sara Jane
This is such an important (and surprisingly inspirational) book. It was a delight to read a book by a former student, too. WSS represent!
Johnny
Zach Wahls is the poster child for the modern family movement; the child of two gay women who raised him and his sister in Iowa, he represents everything that is right about parenting, and parenting that has very little to do with biological ties. He walks the reader through the pillars of the Boy Scouts of America (quite ironically given their recent anti-equality stance), coupling each element with narrative stories of his upbringing and rational explanations for true acceptance in our country...more
John E
Utilizing the 12 tenets of the Boy Scout Law [a Boy Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, etc.] – albeit out of order – Zach Wahls takes us on a riviting journey of his life [thus far] as a male being reared by two women who not only love each other but who have, through their own journeys, found their own senses of dignity, integrity and decency and passed those qualities onto their son and daughter. Even in the mid 1990's, Zach expertly conveys the anxiety and trepidation that a six year-old f...more
Danielle
Zach Wahls became somewhat of an internet sensation awhile back after his testimony in front of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee regarding gay marriage was posted on YouTube. Zach was raised by two moms and testified that the fact that he had two parents of the same sex had nothing to do with the content of his character.

In this book Wahls recounts the story of his life growing up as the son of two mothers, and how that experience did and did not shape his life. Ultimately his conclusion is t...more
D'Anne
Zach Wahls is adorable and his moms are no doubt so proud of him. I was super excited to read this book and had it on my Amazon wishlist months before it came out. Now that I've read it, I'm glad that I did, but I'm also glad that I'm done with it. Wahls writes with compassion and humor about his family and those parts of the book are worth reading. However, he gets pretty preachy at times, I am obviously the choir, I get it. There are people who need to hear how gays and lesbians deserve equal...more
Aneel Trivedi
I'm very impressed with Zach Wahls. I'd love to read more from him as he gets older.

I found Zach's struggle with his mom's sickness to be the most compelling part of the story. As I think back on my own experience with a terminally ill parent, I can't help but love this kid and deeply respect his attitude and maturity. If I had to deal with a system that refused to recognize my healthy parent's rights in the hospital, I would have almost certainly grown bitter. He seemed to acknowledge the blata...more
Julie
I saw Zach Wahls on the Ellen DeGeneres show recently. At 19 he had appeared in front of Iowa politicians at a public hearing about Gay marriages. He is a child of two lesbian moms, who spoke with such wisdom and strength, and I had to admire his composure.

In NZ we have had civil unions for gays and lesbians for quite a few years, giving equal rights hopefully for our gay friends. To be honest, I wonder what all the fuss is in other countries. It hasn't made any families fall apart here, the wor...more
Rachel
This book was a gift. I had heard Zach Walhs testimony to the Iowa legislature back in 2009 and I thought it was impressive but I don't think i would have picked up the book on my own.

I though the young man expressed himself well and I appreciated the logical formulation of his arguments and how he related his experience to the politics of the issue of same sex marriage.

Though I thought the book was readable and would probably recommend it, I thought it dragged in a few places where the voice w...more
Laurie
I read this book in two days. It was an easy read and kept my interest. I think he makes some excellent points.

His chapters on kindness and courtesy helped me to examine my own life and figure out how I can be more kind and gracious even under difficult circumstances.

I don't understand at all why gay marriage is such a volatile subject. Ti seems obvious to me that anyone should be allowed to be married and given the rights that marriage entails. It breaks my heart to read how Terry was in pain...more
Sarah Chamberlain
Zach Wahls was a state champion debater in high school, an athlete and an Eagle Scout. Majoring in civil engineering in college he founded Iowa City Learns, a service whose purpose is elevating academic achievement, and is the CFO of a solar financing start-up company. Oh, and he is 20 and has two mothers. Organizing his book into chapters based upon the Scout motto (Be prepared), the 12 Scout laws, the Scout oath, and the Scout slogan (Do a good turn daily) Wahls writes convincingly from his ow...more
Brenna Cronin
WONDERFUL!! I'm so happy that I stumbled on Zach's memoir. In a season of discovering, I found his testaments to be incredibly grounded and sincere. His story is empowering - especially the examples of his parents making medical decisions for each other - all while battling a god-awful disease. Family is indeed, the community you create - whether that's the family you gain by joining the boy scouts, the family that arrives after you're already born, or the family you find after your emotional an...more
Mary Vermillion
I hope that lots of people read this book. It makes a powerful case for marriage quality. Zach Wahls is a gifted, principled young man, who was raised by two strong and dedicated women.

Although the book is occassionally preachy (in part because it's organized around Boy Scout principles), most of the time MY TWO MOMS is inspirational, thought-provoking, and funny. Wahls makes a particularly good point about the importance of listening.

As an Iowa Citian, I enjoyed reading about an Iowa City fami...more
Michelle
there has rarely been a more compelling arguement that gay couples can raise happy, well-adjusted children than zach wahls. in each chapter, based on one of the tenents of the boy scout law, wahls offers thoughful, reasoned arguements by sharing stories from his own family life. his moms, jackie and terry, are remarkable parents - not because they're gay, but because they were determined to raise responsible, kind, happy children.

this is a great look at a family life that is exceptional for its...more
♥ Amanda
I first saw Zach Wahls on Ellen, and then found the YouTube video afterward. For someone so young, he is so well versed! I imagine his moms are very proud of him, as well as most that know him personally. In the book, he talks about what it was like for him growing up, and also what his life is like since making his speech. For someone that isn't an author, I was captivated by his story and how well written it was. He's definitely going places, and one to watch for. America, and the world, need...more
Angie
This young man's story is a reminder to be kind. He's not the "lesbian son" poster child, but a regular guy who wants to see positive change. The organization Out to Dinner is a great idea and I'm so glad he has done this! I loved his scouting stories the best because I have a boy scout at home and I am, at times, worried about the anti-gay problems with the organization. But this young man had a great experience and lives the scout laws everyday.
Katrina
I was lucky enough to have watched Zach Wahls address the Iowa House Judiciary Committee in early 2011 and realized immediately that this was a young man with an incredible voice to share. When 'My Two Moms' was released I was quick to dive in. I found his writing to be just as eloquent and powerful as his speech was. I love this book and loved the personal glimpse into how his Mother's were able to raise such an incredible and inspiring young man.
Kimberly
I an biased, because I am an Iowan and this subject matter is so important to me.
The author doesn't have the best writing style but his activism and honesty make
this story worthy of your time. He clearly argues why society should legalize gay marriage,
not that it should be an argument. It's so obvious that we should just call all
marriages between consenting adults that and end discrimination.
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