Tag Archives: Hanging on to Max

Musings: Teen Parents and Gossip Girls


More commentary, less book review:

I have been wanting to read The First Part Last and Hanging on to Max… we read Make Lemonade for my librarians-who-like-teen-books group and I expressed the need for some teen parent stories that don’t involve stereotypical teen parents… such as poor, black or hispanic, uneducated, unsupportive families or the reverse… grandparents raising the babies… because my sister is a teen mom and she isn’t any any of the above. Maybe I could get her to write her story!

When I was in high school a friend of a friend got pregnant, she was middle class, white, had a committed boyfriend who did not run off, regular kid with good grades… she had the baby and went to college… is this book out there? Are authors/editors/publishers afraid it would be condoning sex as a teen because if you get pregnant & keep the baby it might not be the end of the world? If they are making decisions like that thinking it affects the morals of teens than they should stop printing Gossip Girls

… and speaking of Gossip Girls I am reading the second one You Know You Love Me because as I said here before… it is like heroin… easy to get, cheap, unhealthy, and I keep going back for more!

The First Part Last (Heaven #2) by Angela Johnson

The First Part Last (Heaven #2) by Angela Johnson

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.