My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain:
1. My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job of pretending that they don’t anymore.
2. They’re both keeping a secret from me, but I can’t figure out what.
Things aren't going great for Archie Albright. His dad's acting weird, his mum too, and he all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad's pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away.
Together with his best friends, Bell and Seb, Archie sets off on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey to try and fix his family, even if he has to break a few rules to do it...
'A powerful new voice in children's fiction' - Aisha Bushby
Benjamin Dean is a London-based celebrity reporter. His biggest achievement to date is breaking the news that Rihanna can’t wink (she blinks, in case you were wondering). Benjamin can be found on Twitter as @notagainben tweeting about Rihanna and LGBTQ+ culture to his 10,000+ followers. Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow is his debut book and he's currently working on his second, publishing in 2022.
So adorable, funny, and heartwarming. This book made me smile on nearly every page! 'Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow' celebrates the power and joy of family relationships - families formed by blood and families formed by choice - while exploring many of their complexities too. I loved it!
This is the kind of book I wish I had as a kid. "Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow" makes me incredibly hopeful for the future, where diversity will be proudly represented in children's literature. Check out my interview with the author here: https://youtu.be/tarjlboYJv4
A heartwarming story about Archie, whose father comes out as gay. It's a huge change for the family and Archie is confused, and so seeks help at the end of the rainbow - a Pride festival in London where he meets all sorts of incredible people, from drag queens to trans men and women, to young gay and lesbian teens who are just trying to find their place in the world.
There is so much colour in this gorgeous book that will prove important for shaping the children who will be so lucky to read this. Following Archie and his best friends Seb and Bell as they head off on their impossible adventure will make the conversations surrounding the LGBTQ+ community and making it accessible to children so much easier. Archie is a brilliant protagonist to follow, and while he and his friends don't always make the best decisions, one thing is vitally clear - he has heart. A demonstration of human kindness and empathy and understanding is evident from all of the main characters of this book.
I will recommend this book to everyone for years and years to come.
Rep: Black mcs, Black gay side character, nonbinary side character, lesbian side character
Galley provided by publisher
I have sat thinking how to possibly review Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow for a good couple of weeks now and I still haven’t got any closer to answering that question. So what you will be getting is probably less a review and more a rambling collection of words, hopefully in some form of coherent, grammatical structure, but I can’t promise it.
You know how, for all that reading books aimed at your own age group is fun, going back to children’s-slash-middle grade or whatever you want to call it, just hits different? Something about it being uncomplicated and able to evoke some serious emotions, probably. And I feel like that’s all the more evident when it comes to LGBT middle grade lit.
In Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow, we follow Archie, whose parents have recently separated and who desperately wants them all to be happy again. When his dad comes out to him, Archie decides the best way to fix things, and make his dad happy, is to go to London Pride, to find out just what he can do to help.
Firstly, a lot of what contributed to my rating of this book was about the emotions. It’s a book about a boy who just wants his father to be happy, so goes about it in the only way he knows how, and it’s probably the most heartwarming and wholesome book I’ve read this entire year (and I’ve read…over 500 at this point, please do not ask). It was also one of those books you read and you know nothing bad is going to happen so you can relax completely into it (and not just because it was MG).
And it’s a book that’s very much about love. Love for your family, but also love for the LGBT community, and that’s probably the major reason it had me crying. Every page was suffused with that love and it showed throughout the book. So, really, I think it’s a book that everyone, no matter what age, should read.
And then you, too, can have the experience of trying to read words through blurry vision!
I loved this story so much. We're following 12 year old Archie Albright who's parents are in the process of getting a divorce, for reasons unknown to him and he just wants things to go back to normal.
However, that's not going to happen, and we follow Archie on this journey of finding out the reason why, his thought process through this and then an awesome but also silly plan on how to try and build back his relationship up with his dad.
This book was heartwarming and endearing and I loved every single second of it. I managed to read it cover to cover last night and I don't regret one second of it.
Told from the perspective of Archie and having him speak directly to the reader is such a breath of fresh air. Fantastic queer middlegrade, explaining and exploring so many different representations under the LGBTQ+ umbrella in such a unique way. Can't recommend this enough.
Huge five stars from me. Epic debut from Benjamin Dean 🏳️🌈✨
When Archie's parents get divorced, he's sure there's a secret, but he doesn't know what it is. Eventually, his dad tells him he's gay, and this leads to conflicting feelings for Archie. He's mainly afraid things will change, and he doesn't want them to. But he wants to support his dad, and he thinks the best way to go about that is to go to London Pride.
I spent a lovely afternoon reading this book, and I was sad to see it end. It's an incredibly wholesome book, told in a fresh, inviting voice that pulled me in right away.
In the past, I've read books where the kid has to overcome their homophobia or transphobia when their parent comes out, but luckily, this narrative wasn't like that. I think it found a great balance between being so supportive of Archie's dad while at the same time acknowledging that him coming out also comes with difficulties for Archie and his mum. For instance, I loved how the book showed Archie's mum being so supportive of her ex-husband, while at the same time showing her own sadness over their divorce as well.
The Pride section of the book was my absolute favourite, though. It was full of colour and adventure and really jumped off the page.
Reread 2022 loves: - I love how the subject of being gay is seen as normal (ie Oscar saying “oh I thought it was something serious”) it’s teaching a lesson to kids that it is normal and nothing to be feared or prejudice against - I thought the way Dean inserts little snippets of information about the LGBT+ community as Archie is learning about it for the first time was a great balance between informative and not over the top that it took you away from the story - the descriptions of the pride scenes were so bright and vibrant, I haven’t been to Pride but I’m sure Dean captured it beautifully! - can definitely see why I gave it 5 stars, the ending was perfection! Reread 2022 observations: - The first half seems a lot slower than I remember 😕 it took a lot to get into the story, second half was ALOT stronger in story telling and plot line once Archie actually got to Pride
This was just pure joy! I was smiling and laughing through-out! It was beautifully written and just perfect!💗
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review – thanks so much as always to Netgalley for sending this to me!
Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow is a lovely story about Archie Albright, whose family are in crisis. Mum and Dad have split up, and they keep having not-so-subtle arguments when they think Archie can’t hear. When a mysterious colourful flier falls out of Dad’s pocket, Archie thinks he might have figured out a way to put his family back together again – with a little help from his friends, of course!
This is a really sweet book. Archie is a great, cheeky main character with a super engaging voice, who chatters away to you like you’ve been best mates for years. There’s a great emphasis on friendship here, which I loved; I feel like kids have such all-encompassing friendships and it was so wholesome to see Archie lean on his friends and how they rally together to support him in spite of their fears. There are lots of funny little moments (such as when his best friend needs to come up with a fake name and the first thing that springs to mind is ‘Eliza Barclay Card,’ a name she got off her mum’s bank statement) and tear-jerkers too. The end of the book in particular made me tear up – it was so warm and comforting and lovely, it felt like I was being hugged by this great big pride family. It’s a gentle, not-too-overwhelming introduction to the colourful world of the LGBTQIA+ community that no doubt seems alien to a lot of young kids. The final third of the book in particular has an almost magical feel to it – it’s so vivid and descriptive. Reading it was immensely comforting, because it’s so low-conflict and you had this guarantee that everything would be okay in the end that I find hugely reassuring – a happily ever after is a must for me, and I never doubted for a second that this book would deliver. It also has an absolutely GORGEOUS cover, it really catches the eye, I’m obsessed with it. A million kudos to the illustrator, Sandhya Prabhat; she did a phenomenal job.
I will admit, however, that I found parts of this book to be a bit surface-level. It’s entirely possible for a Middle Grade to take a deeper dive into difficult topics, including sexuality – see books like Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, for example – but I felt like this one skimmed the surface of the issue it was trying to highlight. There’s no real exploration of the conflicting feelings or the hurt or confusion between Archie’s parents – one day they’re at each other’s throats and the next, they’re best friends again – and no discussion between Archie and his dad. In fact, almost all the discussion about the dad’s sexuality is completely removed from him, so that you get basically everyone else’s perspective except for the one person the story is about. We dance around it, doing basically anything BUT talk to the dad, and then it’s a bit like a magic wand is waved and everything is suddenly fixed. . I feel like there was a great opportunity to look at the messy feelings that can arise from coming out and tackle them, to show young readers that it’s okay to be confused and lost and still give this overall message of acceptance in the end. Instead, everyone agrees that nothing has changed, and everything goes back to normal. While I can understand the point the author was trying to make, that sexuality doesn’t change who you are deep down (which it doesn’t!) having a gay parent DOES alter things in some ways, especially if you’ve grown up thinking they’re straight and then things change so drastically. It’s okay to acknowledge that and let a kid maybe explore the more complicated feelings that might arise from such a revelation. I do think maybe some writers are afraid to delve into the darker, uglier emotions around these kinds of issues for fear of backlash, when it’s so important for kids to be able to explore their feelings in fiction and open up a conversation about things like this. So while I did like the book’s light approach, I felt like I expected more, and ultimately felt a bit let down by it.
In summation, this book was cute, fun and fluffy, and while it didn’t deliver exactly what I was hoping for, it was ultimately still a really sweet book. if you’re looking for a light and speedy read that’ll hit you right in the feels, this would be a great one to reach for!
This book was the cutest and most fluffy book I've read in a while. I'm coming to realise how much I love middle grade, how much more middle grade I should read, and how much more middle grade everyone should read!
Me, My Dad, and the End of the Rainbow was a joy to read. It was so funny and such a breath of fresh air!! I cried every time they talked about Pride which was fun because that's like 70% of the book - many tears were shed as you can imagine - but it was just the best.
A quick (read it in less than 3 hours!) and easy read for those looking for a diverse, fun book to give you a serotonin books in these dark times!
When Archie discovers that his dad is gay, he and his friends go on an adventure to understand his father a little better.
This was a very good middle grade book. Heartwarming and full of great characters. Perfect for kids to start delving into the world of the LGBT community and understanding what that acronym means.
I would, however, have preferred that this whole journey had more of a father-son relationship element. That this whole adventure was partly done WITH the father, and not just behind his back (although the last chapter does in someway help with that - but wouldn't it have been better as the main part of the book?). But it did also allow for friendship to take front stage in his story and that was also very very nice.
Someone took my hand and invited me along to London Pride. When we got there, they kept a hold of my hand and allowed me to not only observe and enjoy but to understand and feel too.
That's what it felt like reading Benjamin Dean's book which tells the tale of twelve-year-old Archie whose parents are going through a difficult divorce. But there is a greater secret that they are holding back from their only child and if they don't open up soon, it's going to tear the family apart.
With the first half set in Archie's home town and the second in London, Dean's novel is an honest, open and gentle book about a family dealing with a father revealing that he is gay. Touched with comedy and tenderness, this is more about one man trying to help his son understand and a son trying to ascertain whether this means he'll lose his father or whether a change might mean losing someone.
It's a beautiful little story with a gorgeous set of characters.
Nobody is more sad and disappointed than me. Trust me.
This has been one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I was anxiously waiting for the day that I would finally read this beautiful book. The thing is... it wasn't the book. It was me.
I didnt know this would read this young. It just didn't sound like I was reading through the lens of a 12 year old kid, but it actually seemed like I was seeing things through a 7 year old... And i just dont like that tbh. That was the main issue and maybe the only issue.
But it's the kind of problem that takes out 90% of my enjoyment of the book.
So, dont take this "bad" rating by thinking this is a bad book. Quite the contrary. The descriptions, inclusivity and acceptance that this whole story shows and teaches is beautifully written and presented to us.
Just keep in mind that this was very childish most of the time...
I absolutely loved this book. It was so wholesome and sweet, yet I believe it has such an important message.Archie, Seb and Bell are such a fantastic characters. I loved them, what a trio. I loved there friendship, I loved how the support each other. They also made me laugh, Bell is so funny. It made me laugh out loud and books never do that. Honestly they are so adorable. There’s other great characters in this. Archie dad, who journey of self acceptance is touched upon, is really moving. It’s such a fun, meaningful story. I loved the adventure that the gang went on. And I have to say, as someone who has never been to a pride parade I am insanely jealous of them. I don’t want give to much of the gangs adventure away but it is fun, and it also has so much heart. And the adventure ends so brilliantly. This is obviously a book for children, but i think its a book everyone should read. It has such a wonderful important message. It shows the importance of acceptance. And its from a perspective I’ve not read before. It also shows the importance of found family that is often so vital to the queer community. It also made me cry, I couldn’t help. The message is just put across so well. Dean has written a brilliantly book. It’s funny, it’s sweet and its vital. I love that theres a queer book like this out in the world, especially for children. It’s a diverse, inclusive book that I sincerely hope you all decide to pick up. I can’t recommend this book enough. I’m looking forward to what Dean writes next. I guess all there’s left to say is, can we have some more adventures from Archie and the gang?Thank you so much to Simon & Schusters Children’s books for gifting me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 4th.
This book is so cute and wholesome! The first half of the book was focused on Archie's family kind of falling apart after his parents separated, and how that affected Archie as well as his mom and dad. Then Archie learned that his dad was gay. The relationship between Archie and his dad floundered a bit at that point, nothing had really changed but things were just awkward between them. Which leads us on to the big adventure! I love the way Archie and his friends Bell and Seb decided to break a million rules and find a way to London Pride on their own. The entire planning process was pretty entertaining and seemed destined to fail. I didn't think they would make it there, but they sure did! After a big dose of drama where pretty much everything went wrong, this book actually had a very happy ending. The way loads of drag queens teamed up to help Archie during a disaster was absolutely wonderful and really showed the true spirit of pride. This story made me miss going to pride parades (thanks coronavirus) and I will be sure to read this book again to get me in the pride spirit whenever I can next attend a pride event! I would love to read a short story sequel that picks up where this book ends, I think that would be so much fun!
Full of colour, love and friendship, this book will warm the very core of your heart. I can't imagine how important a read this book would be to so many young people, being educational both intellectually and emotionally.
What an incredible idea to explore sexuality and the act of "coming out" through the eyes of a child as he and his friends try to understand what Pride and "gay" mean and how (or if) these words change anything.
This middle-grade celebrates love in all its forms, with the sweetest friendship between the three main characters, characters of all genders and sexualities and inter-generational friendship too. Dean illustrated Pride so perfectly; as one huge, colourful family.
I will be recommending this book to anyone and everyone who will listen.
3,5* Sadly, I did not love this book like I thought I would. What I wanted from this book was explaining and examining Pride and all that surrounds it from the perspective of a 12/13 year old boy whose father just came out as gay. Instead I got a third of the book where the parents are fighting followed by two thirds of people getting lost and trying to find each other, which happens to be at Pride in London. While there are definitely great moments relating to Pride and queerness (for example pointing out that it is a protest and using a Marsha P Johnson quote), it sadly fails to examine these further. Who was Marsha P Johnson and why is her quote used? Why is Pride (still) a protest? Why do people become drag queens and what does it mean when people use they/them pronouns? All of these things are touched on briefly but never actually talked about, which is such a shame when you have a book for younger audiences who probably do not (fully) understand these things.
The biggest miss for me was that there is almost no bonding between the main character and his father. The whole reason he goes to Pride is to find answers relating to his dad and the situation they are in. Some of these answers are found, but with people he meets on the way. The whole getting to London and trying to find each other after getting lost takes up almost half the book and then at the end Archie (mc) and his dad have a quick chat about how nothing had actually changed and then they hug. There is no talk about how the first Pride was for his father after finally having come out, nothing about how the family reacts or what it would be like if his dad got into a new relationship.
All in all, this is not a bad book. It has a very diverse cast of characters and is a great conversation starter for young audiences. It also has the great sense of adventure and humour that suits young readers, but it could have been so much more.
RTC but I adored this and, barring one or two small details, found this wonderful!
Review Taken from The Pewter Wolf Reads ***eProof given by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction***
What a gloriously wonderful Middle Grade story! It was such a joy to read!
We had a story with Black lead characters, LGBT+ issues and characters with a lot of diversity (I have read several reviews from other reviewers saying some characters show signs of anxious and one character maybe being autistic). All of this being tackled beautifully for the target audience. Same with the issue of divorce and showing that adults/parents aren't perfect. Plus, this was funny. I chuckled multiply times while reading this because I got Archie's humour and I remember myself thinking exactly the same thing when I was younger.
Yes, there are one or two tiny niggles I had with this (it's me. Of course I spot things that niggle at me), but I get why these issues are in the story and written in the way it was. And yet, this book was a joy to read and these niggles didn't effect my reading.
I loved this book and can't wait to see what Benjamin Dean writes next!
Disclaimer: A Physical Copy was provided via Simon and Schuster India in exchange for an honest review. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.
Oh this was a beautiful and delightful as well as heartwarming celebration of familial love, acceptance and the joy of family, no matter how unconventional it may be!
Told in the voice of young Archie - who believes that adults don’t give him the c edit he deserves. He knows that there is something wrong with his parents. They aren’t in love with each other anymore & there is something seriously wrong because his father has not been living with them, and neither has he missed how much his parents have now been fighting with each other, say every time they are in the same room together.
While he absolutely and totally is against eavesdropping; it was the only way he could have found what actually happened between his parents and he does. And he doesn’t know what to do when he actually does find out what exactly happened to change everything.
To be fair, all Archie wants his parents back - not how they were with each other, but how they made him feel. So, to get his family back; to get his Dad back and to understand him - him and his wonderful friends hatch a plan; to attend the London LGBTAIQ+ Pride Parade.
This was the EXACTLY the feel good, wonderful make me happy book I needed and trust me, you need it to! A middle grade fiction that’s all about acceptance, love, faith and loyalty for the people you love; even if there are times you may not understand them anymore.
If you never read Middle Grade Fiction then this is the PERFECT READ for you to introduce yourself to this genre. If you read Middle Grade Fiction; then YOU CANNOT MISS this beauty - A MUST for your TBR ♥️
4.5 stars this was by far the most adorable thing I've read this year
This was honestly sunshine in the form of a book. It was written for younger readers, so it's definitely not one of my all time favourites, but it was so accessible for all ages and the message was so beautiful and nuanced. The characters were so much fun to read about, all of the friendships and relationships were super well written and I didn't stop smiling while reading it. Would definitely recommend, especially as an introduction to queer literature for younger readers, or as a comfort read for anyone wanting a wholesome LGBTQ+ story to give them serotonin.