Jenny lives with Eric and Martin

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Front cover of the book
Jenny lives with Eric and Martin (ISBN 0-907040-22-5), originally Mette bor hos Morten og Erik, is a black-and-white picture book by the Danish author Susanne Bösche, published in 1981 in Danish and in 1983 in English. It was perhaps the first English-language children's book to discuss homosexuality.

The story describes a few days in the life of a five-year-old named Jenny, her father, Eric, and his boyfriend Martin who lives with them. Jenny's mother Karen lives nearby and often visits the household.

The book covers such small adventures as:

  • Jenny, Eric and Martin going to the laundrette together
  • Jenny, Martin and Karen preparing a surprise birthday party for Eric
  • Eric and Martin having a small quarrel and making up
  • A woman expressing homophobic disgust when passing the family in the street. This is the subject of a later discussion between Eric and Jenny.


In 1986 various newspapers reported that a copy of the book was provided in the library of a school run by the Labour-controlled Inner London Education Authority. The resulting controversy made a major contribution towards the then Conservative administration's subsequent passing of the controversial Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988', which forbade the "promotion" of homosexuality by local government.

External links Interview with the author. The Guardian, 31 January 2000.