Books·Canadian

You've Been Volunteered

A novel by Laurie Gelman.

Laurie Gelman

If you've ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it — most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home.

She's been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max's third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen's own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle. (From Raincoast Books)

From the book

I stare at my computer screen and ponder my email. Is it too short? Too kind? Too sincere? Normally I wouldn't give a royal rip, but we have a new PTA president starting this year. I haven't met her yet, but she sent out a note saying she wants to be copied on all class parent emails. This fact alone has me at DEFCON 3. Smells like a micro-manager to me. NIna would never have wasted her time on that crap.

Sadly, Nina is no longer PTA president, nor is she living in Kansas City. My best friend in the world now calls Tennessee home. She moved to Memphis with my former trainer, Garth, and her daughter, Chyna, in June, shortly after it was named the fattest city in the U.S. for like the hundredth time. The mayor decided to start a "Cut the Fat' citywide health initiative and Garth was recruited through one of his Wounded Warrior buddies to develop a middle school program. It was an easy move for Nina — she can rub her web design business from anywhere, and Chyna was more than happy to start high school in a new city after her less than stellar middle school years, poor baby.


From You've Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman ©2019. Published by Henry Holt and Co.

Interviews with Laurie Gelman

Laurie Gelman on how the trials and tribulations of being a class mom for five years inspired her comic first novel. 2:04

Other books by Laurie Gelman

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now