Title: Be My Valentine, Bobby Bryson
Valentine’s Day has long been a difficult day for widow and single mom Kate Madsen. But this Valentine’s Day is going to be more than just difficult… it’s going to be downright awkward. For Kate’s only child, seven-year-old Mikey, just stunned the small town of Elk’s Ridge by writing a Valentine’s Day card to someone name Bobby Bryson.
While the card sends teachers into a tizz and turns Mikey’s grandfather into a grumpy old man, Kate discovers over the course of one afternoon that she and her young son are about to begin a journey of questions, confrontations and hopefully one day… happiness.
In the meantime, will Mikey and his Mom make it through this Valentine’s Day? Will the innocent intentions of one young boy change the narrow minds of a stubborn, small town? And just who exactly is the object of Mikey’s affections—Bobby Bryson?
This story was previously published in the 2013 anthology On Valentine’s Day
Author: Geoffrey Knight
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: To Catch a Fox , The Boy From Brighton, Miami Moon, Cairo Curse
Published by Wilde City Press Source: Publisher
Published: 15 January, 2014
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Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website
Single widowed mother Kate hates Valentine’s Day for a number of reasons, but she tries to make it special for the light of her life, seven year old Mikey. Like many schools, Valentine’s is a special day for students, and they are often encouraged to craft Valentine’s for family members and special school friends. For Mikey, it is no big thing to make a Valentine for his best friend Bobby. While that simple sharing act is so forbidden and taboo for boys, even those who are just loving children, is a mystery to me: although adults are quick to jump in and apply their own prejudices and less than kindly words for both Mikey and his mother.
I’m in the school that believes that there are few types of “love’ that are wrong: heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual: most often I don’t believe that there are true “choices’ in your sexual expression, and applying such terms to a child and telling them that they are less than anyone else because of their very real and honest feelings is one of the worst crimes an adult can commit. But, that is me, and I am not living in this story.
Mikey is thrown into a series of confusing situations: he cannot understand why caring about someone could be wrong. He likes Bobby in a wholly appropriate seven year old boy way, and he is determined that Bobby WILL get this Valentine, no matter who says he can’t.
With reassurance from his mother, who has her own set of people condemning her parenting and honest approach with her son, including the only tie to her husband: his parents.
Like all small towns, the backlash can be vitriolic and vituperative: particularly damaging to a young child who was simply following directions. A factor to be considered carefully when you speak to a child to “guide’ or “direct’ them: words can damage for life. Kate manages both the backlash and her son’s very simple, and not so simple questions with an honest approach that does her justice. From quick sketches to more detailed information and development of specific characters Knight has provided a solid and heartwarming tale that will bring a new perspective full of the hope and innocence of childhood to readers of all ages.