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December 16: Heather Has Two Mommies

Lawrence Bush
December 16, 2016
Lesléa Newman’s children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies, was self-published on this date in 1989 in a press run of 4,000 copies. As the first children’s book to deal with a lesbian couple raising children, Heather has been on the American Library Association’s list of most-often banned books every year since it appeared. In 1990, as the book gained in fame and notoriety, Alyson Publications became its publisher; in 1993, New York Chancellor of Education Joseph Fernandez lost his job after including the book as part of a curriculum about diversity. Newman is by now the author of sixty-five books, for both children and adults, many dealing with lesbian identity and Jewish identity. Nine of them have been Lambda Literary Award finalists, and her awards include the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement. “I hope through my writing, I am repairing the world by making it a safer place for all.”--Lesléa Newman

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.