Refreshing story about family, love, and personal constitution. Elly is a young girl who adores her Uncle Ned and his life partner Phil, whom Elly affectionately calls her uncle as well. Together they work at the Uncles’ home to create a diorama celebrating the golden anniversary of Elly’s grandparents and Ned’s parents. When Grampy says Ned is unwelcome at the celebration, Elly’s dad straightforwardly explains that Ned and Phil are gay—Sometimes a man loves another man in the way a married couple love each other. Women who love each other are called lesbians. It’s the way they are, just as Mommy and I are the way we are. In a note to Elly’s explaining that he’ll miss the party, Uncle Ned writes, But Phil is my family, too. This level of directness and specificity provide the reader with meaningful and relevant content. There is a subtext of marriage, church, even wealth in that the family rents a huge tent to erect on their property for the anniversary celebration. Arts and crafts are another subtext given the creation of the diorama. Diversity is gays and lesbians. People of color, individuals with disabilities or persons who are bilingual/multilingual are not included.
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