Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged family

The Truth About Delilah Blue

After first reading The Truth About Delilah Blue's jacket blurb, it struck me as a beach book. It turned out I was only slightly incorrect; it's an airplane book, most satisfying when you really have nothing else to do and nowhere else to go. Delilah, also known as Lila, is working as a nude model in an attempt to absorb the art education she cannot afford.

The Tricking of Freya

The Tricking of Freya is a multi-generational family story narrated by a girl named Freya Morris, following her life from early childhood through middle age. Freya grows up in suburban Connecticut, but her heart lives in a small village called Gimli, the Canadian settlement of her Icelandic ancestors. In Gimli, her family is revered as the descendants of two of Iceland’s best-loved poets.

Family, Gender, and Law in a Globalizing Middle East and South Asia

Family, Gender, and Law in a Globalizing Middle East and South Asia makes available twelve essays that were presented, in earlier forms, at the 2004 symposium of the same title, which took place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The essays, edited by Kenneth M. Cuno and Manisha Desai, include analysis of eleven nation-states from Morocco to Bangladesh.


The doors have been flung wide open when it comes to the liberation of the modern day mother. Well, they are cracked considerably wider than they were thirty-five years ago at least. Gestating for ten years now, Sunshine, a film by Karen Skloss, eloquently portrays just how much our attitudes toward motherhood and family dynamics have changed over the past several decades. Skloss’s film is deeply personal yet not so focused on navel gazing that the viewer can’t glean some social commentary from it.

The Baby Formula

"Why shouldn't we have the chance to make our own babies, have our own children?” That's one of the first lines spoken in The Baby Formula, a delightful award-winning Canadian mockumentary that took two honors in 2009: the Audience Award at the Toronto Inside Out Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival and Best LGBT Film at the Nashville Film Festival.

Off and Running

Considering the number of children in need of adoption—and the number of children who are actually adopted each year—it's surprising there aren't more adoption stories being told. Aside from The Locator, we've had especially limited access to stories about adopted children reaching out to their birth parents. The delicate, vulnerable position of someone sending a letter out into the world, waiting and hoping to hear back about where they come from, is still a bit of a mystery, and more than worthwhile.

The Last River Child

The Last River Child is the story of a town caught up in a legend: they believe there are children possessed by the spirit of the river meant to bring misfortune to everything around them. Everyone is taught to stay away from the river, but a young girl named Peg feels drawn to the river and refuses to believe the story.

The War on Welfare: Family, Poverty and Politics in Modern America

In The War on Welfare, Marisa Chappell compiles a comprehensive record of decades of antipoverty and anti-welfare movements and coalitions, the policies and programs they influenced, and the biases that both shaped and undermined their objectives.

City Island

The film City Island is no more about City Island of the Bronx than Chinatown is about the Chinatown of Los Angeles. Let me be clear.

Our Family Wedding

Welcome to the new post-racial America, where at long last African Americans and Latinos can star together in a major studio movie every bit as crappy as anything White people have ever done. Our Family Wedding is...

Gay Fatherhood: Narratives of Family and Citizenship in America

In this well-written ethnography, Gay Fatherhood, Ellen Lewin examines the choices and the decisions of gay fathers in America, focusing particularly on men who choose to become fathers as gay men, rather than coming out after having had children in a different-sex marriage.

Don't Kiss Her Face

The Echelons have a lot going for them: quirky lyrics, a 1970s-inspired family ensemble, and fun tunes. Made up of father Ben Petrella, children Jessica and Louis, and neighbors Brian Santo and Brandon Grande, the Echelons make their debut with Don't Kiss Her Face. Jessica is nineteen years old, and brother Louis is only twelve; this multi-generational dynamic gives the band a distinct aesthetic.


Based on the 1989 Ron Howard movie Parenthood, writer Jason Katims has revised the premise into a modern day, one-hour drama that explores the many facets of being a parent. The stellar cast includes Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), Craig T.

To Kill a Tiger: A Memoir of Korea

Spanning five generations, this memoir explores the author’s upbringing and the sociopolitical climate of Korea during the last century through the anecdotes and interpretations of her family. The tales come mainly from her father as told to her mother.

CosmoGIRL 250 Things You Can Do to Green the World

I never really considered myself a “green” person until I went to the Power Shift conference in Washington, DC last year. Things I or my family had done for years—recycling, composting, using reusable bags and cutlery—were second nature to me, and it did not quite click with me that we had been going green for years. After going to Power Shift, I made a decision to do more to help the environment, so when I saw CosmoGirl!

My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities

My Baby Rides the Short Bus is an anthology of articles written by parents about their firsthand experiences of raising children with disabilities. In addition to their common identity as parents of disabled children, the contributors also share another trait: all of them find themselves outside of the mainstream by virtue of identity or political perspective.

The Age of Independence: Interracial Unions, Same-Sex Unions, and the Changing American Family

Michael Rosenfeld’s The Age of Independence is refreshing, yet scholarly application of demography. Though demography is often seen as merely a slew of statistics flat on a page, in actuality it is the soul of society spelled out as best we can.

The Sand Castle

Sometimes, you can judge a book by it’s cover. In this case, the front cover of the book in question depicts two women in bathing caps and red lipstick and resembles a scene from an Esther Williams movie.

Who's Your Daddy?

Postmodern indeed. As a single Black lesbian mother, I assumed that a resource like this wouldn’t yet exist. On searching, I discovered a literary road map to queer parenting and family that is current, diverse and mini-encyclopedic in its breadth. Reading this work made me feel as though I had added to my family of choice.

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You: Kids, Carbs, and the Coming Hormonal Apocalypse

Sassy southern belle Anita Renfroe’s sharp and charming wit weaves together a series of essays on everything from body image, motherhood, and the holiday season in Don't Say I Didn't Warn You. The book is the kind of happy, light read you just cannot put down. Without bombarding you with a barrage of jokes like so many other books by comedians, Renfroe shares the lighter side of her world, and you laugh alongside her.

The Children's Book

When I think of the works of author A. S. Byatt, I think of layers built upon layers and stories within stories. The first novel I read by Byatt was Possession, and I found the story of two modern day English professors solving a love mystery enjoyable. With that said, however, I also found the book to be overly detailed, thinking at the time that 100 pages could easily have been edited out.

All That Work and Still No Boys

In All That Work and Still No Boys, Kathryn Ma writes short stories with one thing in common: the Chinese American experience in California. This book is not for those who like conventional storytelling. Each chapter is the story of a person or family, sometimes related to another person or family in the book and sometimes not at all.

Home Free

Books with young female characters who love books make my heart smile. Home Free by Sharon Jennings made my heart shine with a full-faced grin. Meet Leanna Mets. She loves books, aspires to be a writer, and is trying to figure out what life means. This alone is no easy task, but it’s especially hard as she’s trying to navigate her blossoming life under the strict and watchful eye of her conservative mother. Leanna just wants to feel free.

Translating Childhoods: Immigrant Youth, Language, and Culture

Writing a book and having it published is not the accomplishment it used to be. While academic presses are not known for being as competitive as popular presses, they appear to be on the precipice of absurdity.

When I Forgot

This kind of forgetting does not erase memory, it lays the emotion surrounding the memory to rest. – Clarissa Estes The protagonist of this short, dense novel is Anna Louhiniitty, a twenty-something Finnish journalist. It’s a slushy April day in Helsinki. Anna sits at a café table. She’s supposed to be transcribing an interview. On the table sits a copy of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, that famous novel of war, suicide, and society parties.

So Happy Together

So Happy Together is Maryann McFadden’s second novel in which the themes of love, change, and nature—along with a strong and very human woman protagonist—are at the heart. Claire Noble is a forty-five-year-old woman in the “sandwich” generation; she has to juggle living her own life while caring for her daughter, as well as her aging parents.

States of Union (09/2009)

Artwork can rarely be separated from the artist. The two inform each other. At least that is the case with photographer Alix Smith, whose latest exhibition, “States of Union,” recently opened at the Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York City. A common theme of Smith’s work is identity—the perceived notion of one’s identity and one's actual identity. The identity that was most challenging for Smith is her own as a lesbian. She always had a feeling of wanting to fit into the norm.

In Her Own Sweet Time: One Woman's Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment, and Motherhood

I read this book in one day. It, like the author, and like the problems she explores, is not perfect. Like the author, In Her Own Sweet Time is lovable and I eagerly devoured it for the stories she tells, the problems she outlines, and the social phenomena she identifies. The question “What is the impact of new reproductive technologies (NRTs) on feminism?" is a recurring motif within this book.

Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do

Wednesday Martin lists Step-Dilemma Number One as “The Myth of the Blended Family” in this emotionally charged look into the real experiences of stepmothers: Stepmonster.

Coffeehouse Angel

Life my feelings for a cup of coffee itself, I had high expectations before opening the book’s cover, but I wasn’t convinced Coffeehouse Angel was for me. At first it seemed kind of bitter, but quickly the story grew on me until I was hooked. Suzanne Selfors’ latest book tells the tale of teenager Katrina Svensen as she faces some typical and not-so-typical growing pains. Like most teenagers, she is trying to find her place in the big world.