One of my resolutions for 2021 is to read more middlegrade, and I’m already having a blast. I recently read Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean, which is set to come out on February 4th, and today, I wanted to share my review.
Many thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for the ARC!
My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain:
- My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job of pretending that they don’t anymore.
- 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…
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.