Johnson, Angela. The First Part Last. Simon & Schuster, 2005. ISBN 978-0689849237 132 pp. $7.99
You got it–I dig the fairy tales.
Typically I prefer the stories that don’t have fairy tale endings, like Angela Johnson’s The First Part Last. The reader discovers right away that sixteen-year-old Bobby is raising his newborn baby, Feather, on his own. In swapping chapters titled “Then” and “Now” the story of Bobby’s single-fatherhood is revealed. We don’t often meet male characters who express such complexity of thought and feeling as Bobby. His desire to be a good father and his conflicting fear of fatherhood are most evident in the moments he longs to be a child again himself, followed the moments when he realizes this will never be the case.
This is an interesting and poetic look at a teenage father with heart. It would be great to pair with Hanging on to Max by Margaret Bechard. Two books showing kids making mistakes and facing the tough choices that follow.