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Library Journal Review
|This Printz and Coretta Scott King Award winner has one of the best covers ever put to a teen book, depicting a beautiful and devoted father cradling a sleeping infant. It is almost a shame that the awards stickers cover so much of it. Bobby is a teen father left to raise his daughter, Feather, when her mother suffers from irreversible brain damage. He must navigate the responsibility of caring for an infant and all the anxiety that comes from hoping for a better future for her. Why It Is for Us: If you read the book aloud, it sounds less like prose than pure poetry. Bobby is in love with his baby girl, and you feel it on every page. While he considers giving her up for adoption, he ultimately decides to parent her himself. "I'm supposed to suck it up and do all the right things if I can, even if I screw it up and have to do it over." True words for any father, 16 or 36. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.|
Publishers Weekly Review
|A 16-year-old tells the story of how he became a single dad.In a starred review of this companion to Heaven, PW said, "The author skillfully relates the hope in the midst of pain." Ages 12-up. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved|
|Gr. 6-12. Bobby, the teenage artist and single-parent dad inohnson's Coretta Scotting Award winner, Heaven (1998), tells his story here. At 16, he's scared to be raising his baby, Feather, but he's totally devoted to caring for her, even as she keeps him up all night, and he knows that his college plans are on hold. In short chapters alternating between now and then, he talks about the baby that now fills his life, and he remembers the pregnancy of his beloved girlfriend, Nia. Yes, the teens' parents were right. The couple should have used birth control; adoption could have meant freedom. But when Nia suffers irreversible postpartum brain damage, Bobby takes their newborn baby home. There's no romanticizing. The exhaustion is real, and Bobby gets in trouble with the police and nearly messes up everything. But from the first page, readers feel the physical reality of Bobby's new world: what it's like to hold Feather on his stomach, smell her skin, touch her clenched fists, feel her shiver, and kiss the top of her curly head.ohnson makes poetry with the simplest words in short, spare sentences that teens will read again and again. The great cover photo shows the strong African American teen holding his tiny baby in his arms. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2003 Booklist|
|Bobby's a classic urban teenager. He's restless. He's impulsive. But the thing that makes him different is this: He's going to be a father. His girlfriend, Nia, is pregnant, and their lives are about to change forever. Instead of spending time with friends, they'll be spending time with doctors, and next, diapers. They have options: keeping the baby, adoption. They want to do the right thing.<br> If only it was clear what the right thing was.||
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