With the beginning of the new school year, we have to readjust to all the minutia of school life, including the PTO’s and communications from teachers and class mothers and the like.  If you’re getting into the new school year mindset, why not read a funny novel about the experiences of a not-typical class mother in the new book, Class Mom, by Laurie Gelman.

Our protagonist, Jen Dixon, is rather different from most of the other kindergarten mothers at her son’s Kansas City school. She’s on her first husband, but her third child (the first two are adults, their fathers rock performers from her groupie days). She’s much older than the thirty-somethings who are shepherding their kids through the system for the first time, and that gives her a certain perspective on the details of school politics that other potential class mothers don’t have.  In other words, she doesn’t take any of it too seriously, and it shows.

She launches the year with an email to all the other class mothers, setting the tone for the year, snarky and not taking any nonsense from anyone. That includes the mother who always responds immediately to all emails by saying she’s not there, the mother whose kids are allergic to everything, the surprisingly hot kindergarten teacher, the old flame she meets again in this unusual context, and the trouble she gets herself into by reason of not having any filters between what she thinks and what she says (and does).  

Jen says out loud what other people only think, so if you’ve ever read through one of those emails from an overly cheerful class mother and had to censor what you said about it, you’re going to enjoy Class Mom.  It’s not a deep or profound book, but if you want to put yourself in the right devil may care mood for all the craziness of the beginning of the school year, read Class Mom.


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