Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

“Class Mom” by Laurie Gelman is a fun first book by an author who clearly is writing from experience.  Second time around mom, Jen Dixon has taken the position of Class Mom for her son’s kindergarten class. Her sense of humor causes a number of problems.

Jen Dixon’s two daughters from her wild days in the 1990s are in college. Now Jen finds herself parenting a five-year-old son (with a husband this time) and her best friend has recruited her to be the class mom. Jen injects her snarky sense of humor into her emails, calling out slacker parents and soliciting bribes for coveted spots at parent-teacher conferences. From one of her emails, “P.S. Response times were weak, people, WEAK! I’m not going to embarrass everyone by posting them THIS TIME. Just know I’m keeping a list. A list you really don’t want to be on.”

Gelman is witty and has managed to walk the fine line of developing characters who have disarming flaws yet maintain personal integrity. Jen’s emails are snarky but don’t cross the line into mean-spirited. She manages to naturally include a lot of diversity into the cast. Gelman even manages to work a little mystery into the plot.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Class Mom.” It was clever, funny and peppered with a chorus of interesting characters.  It is easy to relate to Jen’s frustrations with family life and school politics and how she deals with them.  I also like that it takes place in Kansas City. –another quote,

“’I love you, but if you say one more thing about my packing, I ‘m going to hide your pain meds.’ [said Jen’s husband Ron.]

I don’t tell him I switched to Aleve two days ago because the painkillers were interfering with my wine drinking. I stay mute for the rest of the morning, knowing full well that Max’s toothbrush and toothpaste will never make it into the suitcase.”

I recommend this book for fans of Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella, and Maria Semple. “Class Mom” can be found in the new fiction section at the Gering Public Library. I would not, however, suggest “Class Mom” to my grandmother whose sensibilities might not accommodate the main character’s irreverent sense of humor.