HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: What’s Up with Cousin Stacy?
Author: Denise Shick
Illustrator: Stephanie Schulz
Publisher: Independently published, 2020
Website(s): http://www.livingstonesministry.org (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 5-12
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Category: Children’s book
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Shick,Denise. What’s Up with Cousin Stacy? (Published in 2020 by Living Stones Ministries). Kevin lives with his parents and younger sister Anne. Kevin and Anne love to spend time with their older cousin Stacy, the daughter of their Aunt Marie. cStacy showed Kevin how to play baseball better and taught Anne how to play video games. And she gives the best birthday presents. But one day Kevin overhears a phone conversation between his mom and Stacy’s mom, both of whom are clearly hurt, and he wonders what Stacy has done to upset them. Later, Kevin and Anne’s parents explain that Stacy says that she is “gay” because some male friends had mistreated her badly while a female friend was very kind to her, so she moved into the girlfriend’s apartment, and they want to get married.
What should Kevin’s family do? Will Stacy’s choices mean that his parents won’t allow Anne to play video games or Kevin to attend baseball games with her anymore? Will Stacy even be welcome at his birthday party? What’s Up with Cousin Stacy? explores one family’s response to the news of a loved one identifying as LGBTQ and helps parents to navigate a difficult subject with young children. With his parents’ help, Kevin learns that love, honesty, and especially prayer are the best ways to navigate stressful situations. This well written book with good illustrations is a valuable tool for parents, ministers, and counselors who seek to demonstrate love and compassion as they help families process and respond to a loved one’s decision to identify as LGBTQ.
In the back, there is a page of suggestions on what parents can do to help their children understand the news about a family member’s identifying as a homosexual or lesbian. A plethora of books is available for children which are aimed at presenting a “positive” view of homosexuality under the guise of “tolerance” and “diversity” so as to desensitize kids to the subject and thus normalize the practice. We need more books for children which present the Biblical view and thus give a proper Christian response for facing this sensitive situation with grace and truth. In this very encouraging one, there is no name-calling or harsh condemnation, just an authentic and loving conversation between parents and children which explains how kids can love a “gay” family member yet stay faithful to God’s ways.