In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco (Philomel Books, 2009)
According to an interview with the author, Patricia Polocco, the idea for this picture book came after a visit to a fourth grade class in Texas. The students were reading aloud from essays they had written about their families. One little girl began reading about her “untraditional” family when she was rudely interrupted by a classroom assistant who said, “You sit down. You don’t come from a real family.” That night in her hotel, thinking about this child who had been bullied and embarrassed by an adult, Polacco wrote this book as a way of celebrating differences.
Told from the point of view of a girl adopted by her two mothers, Marmee and Meema, In Our Mothers’ House is a tribute to two mothers who always believed in, honored, and loved their children. The story emphasizes the love shared by family throughout the years as holidays are celebrated, traditions are created, and the family expands and welcomes another generation.
Will and his family live in our mothers’ house now. We were so pleased that it didn’t go to a stranger, and it is still a gathering place for all of us and our families. The walls still whisper our mothers’ names.
All of our hearts find peace whenever we are there…not only remembering them, but being there, together, in our mothers’ house.