Sunday, October 23, 2011

The First Part Last

Image credit:
Johnson, Angela. The First Part Last. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2003.

Annotation: Sixteen-year-old Bobby finds outs his girlfriend is pregnant and learns to balance being a teenager and a new parent.

Book talk:
What’s the right thing?
This is what 16-year-old Bobby asks himself in The First Part Last after he finds out his girlfriend is pregnant. Told in Bobby’s voice using poetic language, the chapters alternate between him asking this question in the past and him living with his decisions in the present.  But don’t get the idea that the author glosses over the subject. Instead, Angela Johnson faces the topic head on, capturing Bobby’s emotional ups and downs as he balances his love for his daughter with his own insecurities with his situation. “This little thing with the perfect face and hands doing nothing but counting on me. And me wanting nothing else but to run crying into my own mom’s room and have her do the whole thing.” So what does Bobby do?
What’s the right thing?

  • ALA Michael L. Printz Award,
  • Abraham Lincoln Book Award Master List (IL),
  • ALA Best Books For Young Adults
  • ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
  • Alabama Author's Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice
  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • Charlotte Award Suggested Reading List (NY)
  • Coretta Scott King Award (ALA)
  • Florida Teens Read Master List
  • Garden State Teen Book Award Nominee (NJ)
  • Gateway Readers Award Nominee (MO)
  • Georgia Peach Book Award Master List
  • Green Mountain Book Award Master List (VT)
  • Gryphon Award for Children's Literature
  • Iowa Teen Award Master List
  • IRA Young Adults' Choices
  • Rosie Award Nominee (IN)
  • Sequoyah Young Adult Master List (OK)
  • South Carolina Book Award Nominee
  • Volunteer State Book Award Master List (TN)
  • YARP Award Master List (SD)

    Am I Blue?

    Image credit:
    Bauer, Marion Dane, ed. Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence. New York: Harper Trophy, 1994.

    Annotation: A collection of short stories ranging in different genres and from different young adult authors give a voice to young adults who are gay or a lesbian or who have a homosexual parent.

    Book talk:
    “A myth is yours only if you choose to own it.”
    Although we live in a country that claims it is a melting pot, not all of its residents have had a voice in literature. Two boys – one Puerto Rican, Polish and Irish and one half-black half-Chinese – attempt to take one of the oldest stories in the world and give a voice to everyone – including all sexual preferences. Told in a film treatment style, the story shares the journey of their love and how they share it with the rest of the world. But “The Honorary Shepherds” isn’t the only tale. Am I Blue? has something for everyone – fantasy and realism, sad stories and funny stories, and stories about first love and death. What holds this collection of short stories together is a thread of giving the voiceless a voice. Of owning myths or changing the myth that homosexual people aren’t among us. Because they are, and each story gives an honest account of how it feels to grow up being gay or a lesbian or with a homosexual parent. 

    • ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
    • Horn Book Fanfare
    • ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults
    • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
    • ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Book Award
    • Minnesota Book Award
    • ALA Best Book for Young Adults
    Awards source: