Wearing its heart on its sleeve, this message-driven text could attract like-minded readers but is unlikely to engage anyone beyond those already in the gay-marriage-rights choir.
When Zach tells Alex he can’t be her friend because his dad says her parents aren’t really married, Alex seeks to defend her moms’ relationship while also fighting against Proposition 8. Alex and her brother Nicky decide to launch “Operation Marriage” to inspire their moms to get married before the proposition’s passage, and Mama Kathy and Mama Lee decide to marry in haste. When Alex shares wedding photos at school, even Zach acknowledges her family’s special day. After Prop 8 passes a month later, Zach and his mother (she’s not homophobic like his dad) show up with a plate of cookies to offer apologies and support. All’s well that ends well, with homophobia neatly situated in one mean character who stands for all who voted to overturn equal marriage rights in California. Watercolor portraits of the characters do little to extend the story, instead documenting the characters and their struggle.
More editorial than story, this title will situate itself as part of the early-21st-century movement toward same-sex marriage rights. (Picture book. 4-7)