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My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  224 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Twelve-year-old June Farrell is sure of one thing—she’s great at making pies—and she plans to prove it by winning a blue ribbon in the Champlain Valley Fair pie competition. But a backlash against Vermont’s civil union law threatens her family’s security and their business. Even when faced with bullying, June won’t give up on winning the blue ribbon; more importantly, she ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) (first published January 1st 2012)
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Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
My manager came to me with this book and said he'd written a review of it for the library system's magazine, and it was turned down because of the subject matter. WHAT?!? This book features a librarian as one of the main positive and accepting adult figures, and the library system is shutting it down? Because it's about gay marriage? Oh, I am so ashamed! I know it's Oklahoma, and people here are homophobic (way more than Vermont, which is where the story takes place). But still! Libraries and li ...more
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although the book has aspects that are a tad didactic and some of the disharmony is resolved too easily, I still enjoyed this title, in part because of its honesty and in part because of its exploration of a topic not often tackled in books for middle graders. June and her mother have lived happily on Lake Champlain in Vermont all of their lives. But now that Eva, her mother's significant other, has moved in, and the two women plan to wed, everything seems to change. As the women's relationship ...more
Patricia Bandre
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ncbla
This is the first middle grade book I've read that discusses the marriage of two women and the discrimination and prejudice they face. The story is told by June, a 12 year-old, who lives with her mother and her mother's fiance in Vermont. June is not sure how she feels about her mother marrying Eva, and she isn't sure what to think about all of the flyers being stapled around town by those who are against same sex civil unions. June is also an accomplished pie baker who desires to enter (and win ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I simply adored this debut novel by Mrs. Gennari.
This is a sweet book about a 12-year-old girl whose mom is a lesbian and is soon to be married to her partner. It takes place in Vermont when same-sex civil unions had just been legalized and there was a significant amount of backlash with this "take back Vermont" campaign where people were convinced queer people were going to take over their state (Vermont being [one of] the first states to allow same-sex couples to get married). I wonder if this specific context might be lost on a lot of middl ...more
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's difficult to find good LGBTQ themed books for middle school students, so I was excited when a bookseller gave me an advanced copy of this at NCTE last month (publication date 2012). The story: All twelve-year-old June wants is to enter her first pie in the regional summer fair. Her efforts are complicated, however, when a local group begins to protest Vermont's new law permitting civil unions. At first June tries to ignore what's happening, but when the group's actions start affecting her f ...more
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
June, the main character was believable and I really enjoyed her development and being inside her head.

Loved this line and how it relates to the novel's subject matter and all the characters:

"It was weird the way people could be good and bad."

Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wonderful middle-grade fiction about a twelve year girl whose mother just happens to be marrying another woman during an eventful Vermont summer.
Nina Cooper
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
June, aged 12, her mom MJ and fiancée Eva live near Vermont. It is summer holiday time, and June’s plans are to win the local pie baking competition and spend time with her best friend Luke. However, almost from the beginning the signs are there that problems are not far away. At first it is a short note, then June is bullied due to MJ and Eva being lesbians. The hostile behaviour of some intensifies quickly, and June’s unease increases as much as that of Eva and MJ. Seemingly good friends of th ...more
Reviewed at:

June Farrell is 12 years old wants this summer to be perfect. She is going to spend her time with her best friend Luke, swimming and boating, and entering her delicious pies into the Champlain Valley Fair pie competition. But this summer was more than she bargained for. Everything changes for June when her mother's girlfriend Eva moves in with them and they decide to get married as Vermont has just passed civil unions.

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue S
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars. This book feels like an issue book with a story wrapped around it. However, I do understand that this is an important issue and that we need books like this available. And, for what it's worth, I even enjoyed the story. June puts a face on this issue. She's a normal little girl caught in the middle of an ugly fight where a lot of adults who ought to know better act like bratty, I-will-get-my-own-way children. So here's the problem. Gay rights is the civil rights issue of this genera ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
June has lived on Lake Champlain with her mother forever. They run the marina with its supplies and café. That’s where June learned to make pies, and she is determined to enter the fair this summer to prove what a great baker she is. But this summer is going to be very different from other summers. First, her mother’s girlfriend has moved in with them. Then there is the pressure from Vermont’s new civil union law that has their small town divided. There are people who won’t shop at the marina an ...more
Jenni Frencham
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gennari, Jennifer. My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer. Houghton Mifflin, 2012.

June lives in Vermont with her moms. While Vermonters are fighting the battle over marriage equality, June is trying to win a pie contest and deal with the backlash her family faces over her mothers' upcoming wedding. June resents her mother's fiancee and wishes she would leave so things would be less complicated, but she also wants her mother to be happy.

There are very few LGBT+ books written for tweens and middle-grade s
Deanna Pina
This is an amazing read. I would recommend it to any middle grader dealing with LGBT issues.

Story below so people know what topics this covers:
(view spoiler)
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Hmph. I only read the first line from the jacket flap (see above) when I took this out of the library, and was expecting something about summer adventures and pie-baking, all light-hearted and whatnot, not an Issues book about a girl with two moms. It IS quite issue-driven, with a couple of seriously out-of-step scenes (I really think only the craziest of the crazy think two lesbians can give each other AIDS, not regular people), but better than most books I've read with this theme. It's a prett ...more
Jennifer Heise
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
A cute little problem book, mostly about growing up. It will probably be a period piece in 10 years-- we can hope. June wants to win the pie-baking contest at the fair, but her personal life is full of questions-- because her mom's girlfriend has moved in, and they are talking about getting married under Vermont's Civil Union law, while other people are stirring up trouble against homosexuals because of the law.

Sweet characters, a nice young man, and the best trappings of a growing-up problem no
Kyle Mahaney
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a simply wonderful book. I entered into it with trepidation and concern as it skated the line so many juvenile "social issues" books crossed of writing a message not a story, and being painfully on the nose... But this navigates it very well, especially if you give it time to set some roots down for its characters. What a beautiful story told from an unusual perspective, and how interesting to see how much has changed since its setting (early 2000s). This is a must read for young and old ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yea, June!! Such a sweet, sensitive book! I love this character and all of the thoughts that tumble around in her head as she tries to untangle her truth. She learns a lot about herself during this mixed-up summer--this process comes for us all at some point. An affirming read for any middle grader who has to navigate becoming aware of "difference" and "other". Major shout out for Ms. Flynn, the cool librarian!
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very blunt story about the social and political implications of homosexuality. A very well written book that I read uroosely to start a conversation with my tween abut different family situations. this book does not beat around the bush, I was very impressed with its lessons on bullying, tolerance, trying your best, friendships, and standing up for your beliefs. Lovable characters and valuable lessons, as well as good topics for deeper thinking and debate.
I learned about this book in a webinar about the ALA Stonewall Awards. A great representation about how a 12 year old feels about her mother's relationship with another woman ..and about life in general! Very appropriate for the target age group; for adults it may seem to pat. However, I think it shows that many issues are not completely black and white.
(check out this blog posting:
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
It's refreshing to find a book that's exactly the right length. This slim volume follows the main character's struggle with understanding and accepting her mom's pending wedding to another woman. People in the community are kind and awful, by turns, and all the main character wants to do is just bake a tasty pie.
Oct 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, kids-and-youth
June faces cruel words and actions from her neighbours and friends when her mom and girlfriend announce that they are getting married. Maybe a little heavy handed at times but a good story about acceptance, tolerance and what it means to be a family.
Edward Sullivan
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Twelve-year-old June's biggest worry is winning the pie competition at the fair until her mom and girlfriend decide to get married under Vermont's new civil union law and become the object of prejudice. A great debut novel deftly tackling a timely subject.
Lisa Bricker
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was really pleased: Honesty, but tact for the appropriate audience. A straightforward story of intolerance, learning, bravery and friendship in regards to same-sex marriage.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I bought this upper elementary/lower middle school book to help diversify my library and have books that show different types of families. In this quick read, June spends her summer swimming, picking blueberries and worrying about the impending marriage between her mom and her mom's partner. The state of Vermont is in a fight for marriage equality and June and her family get caught in the middle. Things that I liked was that it shows a child's perspective about how they may feel, there is an awe ...more
Kristen Lunsford
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a good book and different than most books. I like how they used two moms instead of the traditional mom and dad. This book would be good to have in the classroom if I had a two student with same sex parents.
Jonathan DeBor
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
...a nice read and thankful there are books out there for our young people that might have parents like MJ & Eva.
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

How do we start to talk to our kids about tough issues? Not having any children myself, I’m often in the difficult position of having to advise parents on tackling tough subjects, offering books that might help them start a conversation. But one conversation that doesn’t seem to be happening in children’s literature for middle grade readers is that of gay marriage and gay equality. There are books for younger readers and listeners, picture books like Donovan’s Big D
Katie Fitzgerald
My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer is a forthcoming middle grade novel dealing with the issue of civil unions for gay couples in the state of Vermont. June Farrell is twelve years old and plans to enter a pie contest during the summer’s Champlain Valley Fair, but due to protests from her neighbors about her mother’s intentions to marry a woman, her mom is asking her to keep a low profile. Feeling that she is being treated unfairly, June develops a negative attitude toward her future stepmom, Eve, and ...more
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Twelve-year-old June Farrell's life isn't complicated. She swims and boats in Lake Champlain with her friend Luke, helps her mom at the Stillwater Marina Shop, and plans to win this year's pie-baking contest at the Champlain Valley Fair. However, when her mom's girlfriend Eva moves in, June finds herself unwillingly drawn into the controversy over Vermont's new civil union law -- a controversy that divides communities, families, and even June's own mind.

Set in the summer of 2000, when the Vermon
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“When everything gets muddled up inside my head, there's nothing better than making pies.” 1 likes
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