Book Review: Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars 4 Stars

Publish Date: August 1, 2017

Class Moms gets an A in my grade book!

Laurie Gelman takes your average class mom’s experiences and kicks it up 1,000% with laugh-out-loud hilarious insights. You will be entertained by the wide range of characters in her world, inside and outside of the classroom.

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This book is about a year in the life of a kindergarten class mom, Jennifer Dixon – and the unexpectedly cutthroat terrain of classroom and parent politics.

Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom.  She has (mostly) raised two college-age daughters by herself, and she’s a grizzled veteran class mom. She has a five year old son Max and a loving and supportive husband and father, Ron, by her side.  This year, she is serving as the primary parent coordinator for Max’s kinder class.

This colorful funny story involves a lot of emails, an old flame from high school, a quirky personal trainer, a hyper-sensitive-allergy mom, a hot kindergarten teacher, chick fights, and hi-may class parents causing problems at every turn. The job quickly becomes much more than she signed up for.

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Loved it!

This book gives the reader a special appreciation of the crazy, hectic, thankless, and pro bono role of a class parent. It shares insight into the adorable students, school social dynamics, eccentric teacher preferences and the wide spectrum of crazy parents. Yes, class parents deal with all of this stuff. But we remain calm and try to stay above the fray. It’s all for the kids, right?!

I have been a class mom for 11 years straight, with some years being the class mom for two classes simultaneously. (I have a full time career too! I am one busy mama.) I feel like this book was written for me not only for the class mom experiences, but because it has so many relatable themes, including motherhood struggles, friendship, marriage, aging bodies, and parenting.

The author, Laurie Gelman, is the wife of Michael Gelman who is the TV producer of the morning show Live with Kelly and Ryan. She has been a class mom for many years and her book is based on her experiences. Many of the emails that are in the book are actually ones that she wrote to her class parents in real life! This article shares a great Q&A with Laurie Gelman and gives insight on how she wrote this book. In fact, Kelly Ripa had warned her NOT to take the class mom role initially as stated in this article, likely because of the countless hours required for this unpaid slave “job” and the crap that she’d endure because of it.

Highlights of the book include Jennifer’s emails to her class parents. These are brutally honest and LOL hilarious. She say things in her emails that many of us class moms wish that we had the courage to send.

I often look up reviews after I’ve finished a book to gauge the buzz. Many people loved it, but on Amazon there are a bunch of one star reviews because some people feel that the book makes fun of allergy sensitivities. Lighten up, people! Everyone knows that food allergies are a serious issue, but geez, this is a fiction book written for FUN, and the critics are taking this too far!

You don’t have to be a frumpy stay-at-home middle-aged class mom to enjoy this book. It is funny and entertaining for a wide range of audiences. Class moms will definitely adore this book because the main character Jennifer Dixon’s class mom experiences are SO. VERY. REAL and completely relatable. Class moms will be laughing and nodding in agreement with many situations and think, “YES, I’ve been there!” – while thinking of their own experiences.

The only ding that I have on this book is the last 5%. The outcome for some of the supporting characters are out of left field and there was no indication from the details leading up to it. But this is fiction, so I just have to roll with it.

I think this quote sums up the book:

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This is a must-read for class parents and people who just want a good laugh. Highly recommend!

 

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