Class Mom

Class Mom is part satire, part coming-of-middle-age comedy. This witty first novel from Laurie Gelman follows the seething drama behind the playdate-scheduling, brownie-baking kindergarten moms of William H. Taft Elementary School.

Kansas City, Kan., mom Jen Dixon is a kindergarten veteran. She raised two daughters--souvenirs of her days as a young INXS groupie--by herself, and is now on round three with Max, her five-year-old son with husband Ron. When her best friend and PTA president Nina volunteers Jen as class mom, she decides to do the thankless job her own way, namely with plenty of tongue-in-cheek e-mails in which she sarcastically solicits bribes and threatens slackers. In return, she puts up with a helicopter food-allergy mom, autoreplies from a mother no one has ever seen, a sexpot kindergarten teacher who refuses to deal with parents at all, and various slings and arrows from cool moms, snob moms and Asami, who doesn't think Jen or her jokes fit the parameters of her position. On the side, Jen counsels her college-age daughters through dating drama, while wading too deep into a flirtation with old high school crush Don "Suchafox" Burgess.

Jen's first-person narration is sassy yet vulnerable as she faces motherhood with panache and her midlife crisis with uncertainty. Her e-mails to the other parents will elicit cackles of glee. Class Mom provides mom-raderie to those who still feel 20 but aren't. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

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