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Me, My Dad, and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean - Review

Sunday, March 7, 2021

 


I got this via Netgalley, so many thanks so Simon & Schuster for granting me access to it. I had head a lot of buzz about this book and really wanted to read it. Then I saw some tweets about it and moved it up my TBR list as I really just wanted to read it! 

It's a middle grade book about Archie. He lives with his mum in a town not far from London. His parents have quite recently split up and there's a lot of tension between them and Archie doesn't quite know why. Archie has two best friends - Seb, who he's been friends with forever, and Bell, who is quite new to the friendship group. His neighbour, Oscar, sometimes babysits for Archie so the two of them are pals too. 

After a disastrous parents' evening, Archie's dad Kevin tells Archie that he is gay. Archie is quite confused by this, but feels like there's a huge gap between him and his dad that he can't work out how to breach. The two of them usually have a good time at an arcade every Friday, but it doesn't feel right anymore. 

But then Archie sees a flyer for London Pride, and hatches a plan to go. Seb and Bell will go with him, but all three will have to be careful. They do make it to London, but face many obstacles on their adventure. But, more importantly, they have an excellent day at Pride, meeting all kinds of people, and helping Archie to feel better about life.

I loved the book, I think it's a perfect middle grade book. Archie is likeable. His family is diverse - Archie is mixed race and his dad is black - and both his parents are well drawn characters. I loved how many obstacles were thrown in Archie's way and how he dealt with every one of them. I loved how funny the book was, even when things were going very wrong. I loved the chaos. I loved the peripheral characters and how vibrant Pride was. 

My one criticism is that I think it skews slightly younger than for a twelve year old. I think it's suitable for 9-12 year olds, for sure. I am giving this five out of five, though. It's great!

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