In the spirit of full disclosure, Laurie Hibberd, now Gelman, debut author of CLASS MOM(Henry Holt) and I worked together as television journalists in Miami. I was even at the table when she first met you-know-who-will-not-be-mentioned-here. But who knew it would lead to “happily ever after, and two darling daughters.” Bottom line, this is Laurie’s rodeo. The point of me writing this is to “say,” I didn’t know Laurie was so funny and clever. Of course, I knew she was talented, but writing a novel, and a laugh-out-loud one at that, is something else! I congratulate you my fellow reformed journalist, turned AUTHOR!
CLASS MOM (HenryHolt) by Laurie Gelman has arrived just in time for a new school year. I’m sure moms and some dads, are signing up to be the liaison between teacher and parents. But who ever thought the relationship between a kindergarten teacher and parents could be so cut-throat? CLASS MOM is a smart delightful read for anyone, especially if you’re considering the position. Beware.
Jen Dixon is not your average Kansas City, Kansas mom. She’s toured with rock bands as a groupie and thinks at least one of her two grown-up college-aged daughters, Viv and Laura, may be the product of a hook-up. Much to the relief of her wholesome God-fearing parents, she’s ready to play house. Jen has married Ron, who owns a sporting goods store and she’s ready to be mother to their five year-old son, Max.
But deep in her heart, Jen will always be that acerbic, somewhat cynical, often offending woman, who is definitely an acquired taste. Her best friend, Nina who heads the PTA sees Jen’s personality traits as exactly what is needed in a class mom and talks her into it. Her first email to the parent’s of Miss Ward’s kindergarten class nearly sets off an up-rise.
Miss Ward has also requested that you drop off a photo of your child before the first day of class. … I’m not sure, but I think she plans to use them in some sort of Wiccan Ritual to “cleanse” the classroom.
Her sense of humor is not received well, but she finds camaraderie in an old boyfriend, who also has a child in class. After the first parent-teacher meetings, Jen sends off another email letting the parents know she’s on to them.
Now that the awkwardness of last week’s attempted coup on my class mom fiefdom is behind us (no hard feelings, Asami: I understand your people’s need for “power”, let’s get on to some serious business, like who is bringing the wine.
Asami doesn’t find Jen’s racial slight funny, Shirleen Cobb feels Jen isn’t taking her son Grayton’s food allergies seriously, it’s one problem after another, but readers can tell she loves mixing it up.
Laurie has created some incredibly well-developed characters with distinct personalites. You won’t get anyone mixed up. Her plot is totally relatable, whether in the class or not, CLASS MOM is neverending fun.
Jen barely survive’s being class mom of Max’s kindergarten class, when Nina asks her to stay on and become class mom of his first grade class. What do you think she decides?
Laurie Gelman is a Canadian television personality and entertainment news reporter. She is married to Michael Gelman; they have two children. In 2007 she worked on two Canadian-based talk shows, The Mom Show and Doctor in the House.
Thanks to Laurie, we have two copies of CLASS MOM to giveaway to two lucky winners. Just tell us your most memorable class experience. We’ll announce a winner next week. Good luck.
CLASS MOM will be published August 1st. Be sure to pre-order your copy at your favorite independent bookstore, or on-line.