Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review: Operation Marriage by Cynthia Chin-Lee

Click here to order a copy.
Operation Marriage is all about gay marriage, LGBT families interacting with the rest of the world, prejudice and bigotry, and California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage after it had been approved in certain localities throughout the state.

Any family wanting to have a discussion about gay marriage and civil rights could use this book as a jumping off point- you don't have to be in California and know the ins and outs of the proposition itself to get something from this book.

In the story, a young girl's named Alex has a best best friend that tells her that he can no longer be friends with her, because her parents aren't married. Because her parents got together at a time when gay marriage was not legal, they had a commitment ceremony before adopting their children. Alex wants her moms married, and decides to launch "Operation Marriage" with her brother Nicky. The plan is to get their moms hitched before Proposition 8 bans gay marriage for everyone.

After much cute lobbying, the moms agree and Alex and Nicky get to be ring bearer and flower girl at their parents wedding. Afterwards, Prop 8 passes but her friend and friend's parents come around as well.

I like that the story deals with sadness and fear that comes from being different. It also deals with the frustration kids feel when singled out by bigotry. What I don't like is the light-handed treatment of marriage. While this is a kids book (and perhaps that is why the subject gets the treatment it does here), we are not privy to the moms' conversations about "why marriage" and so the whole subject comes off as "why not have a party?"I believe that the authors were trying to err on the side of kids' empowerment rather than get into heavy handed legal-ese about marriage- so I can still recommend this book to you.

Formal Rating:

Title: Operation Marriage
Author: Cynthia Chin-Lee and Lea Lyon
Publisher: PM Press and Reach and Teach Press
Price: $14.95 USD 
ISBN: 978-1-60486-422-9

Topics Covered: civil liberties, prejudice, youth empowerment, politics, LGBT issues, families

Target Audience: children ages 2-10
Witch Mom Rating: Two and a Half Hats
This book does a good job sorting out a politically loaded issue from a child's point of view. Aside from the children railroading their parents into a weighty legal decision, I think the book is a good asset to a child's library!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome but moderated. Please be respectful when leaving a comment.