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Teen pregnancy/parents fiction?

September 3, 2008

In the past six days,

  1. a teen girl asked me for fiction books about teen pregnancy;
  2. I read C.K. Kelly Martin‘s I Know It’s Over (review forthcoming; basically, it’s excellent and you should read it); and
  3. it was announced that Sarah Palin’s seventeen-year-old daughter is pregnant.*

When I was helping the girl who wanted teen pregnancy fiction, I had a really hard time trying to think of recent books that focus on the girl, not the guy. It’s great that we’re seeing books about teen fathers, but it seems like there are more of these books now (like The First Part Last, Slam, Mahalia, Hanging on to Max, even The Nature of Jade) than there are about the teen who is actually pregnant. And in a way, it kind of bothers me that I could more easily think of the books about guys, because in real life, how many teen mothers will end up raising their child on their own?

Anyway, it’s booklist creation time. Contemporary realistic fiction about teen pregnancy or teen parents published in the last, oh, ten years narrated by/focusing on a girl who got pregnant or the guy who got her pregnant. Besides the books listed above and Linda Oatman High’s upcoming Planet Pregnancy, I’ve found:

  • Baby Girl by Lenora Adams
  • Angel’s Choice by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
  • Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn
  • Butterflies in May by Karen Hart
  • Dancing Naked by Shelley Hrdlitschka
  • My Life as a Rhombus by Varian Johnson
  • One Night by Margaret Wild

What else is there?

* See the Freakonomics blog for some interesting stats about teen pregnancy (via)

20 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2008 4:55 am

    I haven’t read these books but they seem to fit the topic.

    Annie’s Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager by Beatrice Sparks

    Broken China by Lori Aurelia Williams

  2. September 4, 2008 5:27 am

    My friend has read and enjoyed “Blue Moon” by Julia Green and its sequel, “Baby Blue”, but I just didn’t get into it for some reason.

  3. September 4, 2008 6:57 am

    A Dance for Three by Louise Plummer

  4. September 4, 2008 11:09 am

    Another vote for Julia Green’s Blue moon, although I didn’t realise there was a sequel.

  5. jknode permalink
    September 4, 2008 12:54 pm

    Imani all Mine. And Like Sisters on the Homefront, but that’s a bit more than 10 years old.

  6. September 4, 2008 1:34 pm

    Thank you for the mention!

  7. September 5, 2008 10:56 am

    Thanks, all!

  8. Kerry permalink
    September 5, 2008 4:28 pm

    A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd

  9. Enid permalink
    September 6, 2008 6:34 am

    There’s also “Someone Like You” by Sarah Dessen.

  10. Louise permalink
    September 9, 2008 6:15 am

    Or November Blues by Sharon Draper.

  11. September 14, 2008 6:04 am

    One really good one from ten years ago or so is Don’t Think Twice, by Ruth Pennebaker. It’s set in 1967 in a home for unwed mothers.

  12. September 21, 2008 6:10 am

    The Alan review has published commentary and a list:
    Facts and Fictions: Teen pregnancy in young adult literature.

  13. emily permalink
    October 1, 2008 2:00 pm

    A graphic novel from 1998: The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom by Katherine Arnoldi

  14. November 4, 2008 7:53 am

    Wow!! It’s getting better and better. Keep it up man.,

  15. November 16, 2008 8:15 am

    Bauer, Cat: Harley’s Ninth
    Now sixteen and living with her biological father in New York City, Harley Columba prepares for the first exhibition of her paintings under a cloud of worry that she is pregnant, while a trip to her home town brings major surprises, both good and bad.

    Baratz-Logsted, Lauren: Angel’s Choice
    Not remembering exactly what happened on the night she lost her virginity, Angel Hansen is faced with another dilemma when she discovers that she is pregnant and now must figure out how to handle the situation despite the opinions, lectures, and condemnations of her family and friends.

    Bechard, Margaret: Hanging on to Max
    Sam’s girlfriend is pregnant — but Sam is keeping the baby. Sam should be planning for college and trying out for the football team with this best friend, Andy. Instead he’s up to his ears in diapers and formula, caring for his baby son, Max. Will Sam now have to make a gut-wrenching decision about Max’s future — and his own? A poignant and humorous look at an old problem…with a new twist.

    Buckman, Michelle: My Beautiful Disaster: a novel
    When Dixie catches the eye of lead guitarist Vince Evans, she thinks that it is love at first sight and that there is nothing she wants more than to be his girl, but she quickly realizes that his act does not end on the stage.

    Caletti, Deb: The Nature of Jade
    Seattle high school senior Jade’s life is defined by her anxiety disorder and dysfunctional family, until she spies a mysterious boy with a baby who seems to share her fascination with the elephants at a nearby zoo.

    Carlson, Melody: Falling Up
    Kim’s stress levels skyrocket as she – still grieving her mother’s death – must deal with her father’s job loss, an unpredictable boyfriend, and her best friend who’s pregnant

    Carlson, Melody: That Was Then
    It’s Kim’s senior year and, instead of anticipating graduation, she can barely make it through theday.A pregnant friend, a cousin in trouble, and her birth mom suddenly on the scene!

    Clarke, Kathryn: The Breakable Vow
    After eighteen-year-old Annie McGowan becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she marries her boyfriend Kevin, but slowly realizes that he is abusive and that she must decide what she can and will do about the relationship and to keep her daughter and herself safe

    Cohn, Rachel: Gingerbread
    After being expelled from boarding school, Cyd Charisse’s problems with her mother escalate after Cyd falls in love with a sensitive surfer and is sent from San Francisco to New York City to spend time with her biological father.

    Dessen, Sarah: Someone Like You
    Best friends for years, quiet Halley and flamboyant Scarlett experience a dramatic role reversal at the beginning of their junior year, during which Scarlett’s boyfriend dies in a freak accident and then discovers she is carrying his baby.

    Doherty, Berlie: Dear Nobody
    Eighteen-year-old Chris struggles to deal with two shocks that have changed his life, his meeting the mother who left him and his father when he was ten and his discovery that he has gotten his girlfriend pregnant

    Dowd, Siobhan: A Swift Pure Cry
    Seeking guidance from a young priest and comfort in the arms of her childhood friend, Declan, after her mother passes away in Ireland in 1984, Shell learns that she is pregnant and now must face the repercussions in her small village as the word begins to spread and rumors swarm.

    Draper, Sharon: November Blues
    When November Nelson loses her boyfriend, Josh, to a pledge stunt gone horribly wrong, she thinks her life can’t possibly get any worse. But Josh left something behind that will change November’s life forever, and now she’s faced with the biggest decision she could ever imagine. How in the world will she tell her mom? And how will Josh’s parents take the news? She’s never needed a friend more.

    Fienberg, Anna: Borrowed Light
    When sixteen-year-old Callisto May becomes pregnant, she finds that she has few places to turn for comfort and guidance and thus must rely on her own inner strength to get her through it all and make the right decisions.

    Frost, Helen: Keesha’s House
    Seven teens facing such problems as pregnancy, closeted homosexuality, and abuse each describe in poetic forms what caused them to leave home and where they found home again.

    Hearn, Julie: The Minister’s Daughter
    In 1645 in England, the daughters of the town minister accuse a local healer and her granddaughter of witchcraft to conceal an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but years later during the 1692 Salem trials their lie has unexpected repercussions.

    Hopkins, Ellen: Crank
    Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter, but she meets a boy who introduces her to drugs and becomes a very different person, struggling to control her life and her mind.

    Hornby, Nick: Slam
    At the age of sixteen, Sam Jones’s girlfriend Alicia gets pregnant and Sam’s life of skateboarding and daydreaming about Tony Hawk changes drastically, so Sam turns to Hawk’s autobiography for answers.

    Horniman, Joanne: Mahalia
    When Emmy decides to keep their baby, Matt is supportive of his free-spirited girlfriend and her plans for the future, yet after the baby is born and Emmy takes off, Matt is left to raise little Mahalia by himself and quickly comes to the realization that he must make a loving family environment without Emmy in the picture.

    Hrdlitschka, Shelley: Dancing Naked: a novel
    After Kia discovers that she is pregnant and that the father wants her to have an abortion, she must make some difficult decisions, aided by her youth counselor Justin and Grace, a woman she met while volunteering at a senior’s home.

    Johnson, Angela: The First Part Last
    When his girlfriend Nia announces that she is pregnant, sixteen-year-old Bobby, a typical urban New York City teenager, must cast aside his life of partying to visit obstetricians and social workers, who try to convince them to give their baby up for adoption, until tragedy strikes.

    Langan, Paul: Summer of Secrets
    When a frightening ordeal turns her life upside down, Darcy reaches out to her friends for help, but discovers that one of them has an even bigger secret.

    McDaniel, Lurlene: Briana’s Gift
    When a pregnant seventeen-year-old girl is hospitalized and in a coma, her younger sister faces several difficult choices while dealing with loss, love, and life at Christmastime.

    McDonald, Janet: Spellbound
    Raven, a mother at the age of sixteen, is determined not to become just another high school dropout and decides to enter a spelling bee that promises the winner enrollment in a college prep program and a scholarship–even though spelling is her worst subject.

    McWilliams, Kelly: Doormat: a novel
    Jaime is used to her best friend, Melissa, being the center of attention, but when she ends up pregnant and wants Jaime’s help, there’s not much Jaime can do until she figures out how to stop being stepped on and still be a good friend.

    Olsen, Sylvia: The Girl with a Baby
    With the help of her friends and First Nation family, teenage mother Jane returns to school, determined to face the prejudices, and plans for the future with her daughter, Destiny.

    Orcutt, Jane: Dear Baby Girl
    Fifteen-year-old Merrilee decides what’s best for her baby is to place her newborn up for adoption.

    Qughton, Jerrie: Perfect Family
    When Welcome, a fifteen-year-old girl living in a small town in North Carolina during the 1950s, finds out that she is pregnant, she faces some important decisions.

    Pennebaker, Ruth: Don’t Think Twice
    Determined that her pregnancy will not affect her life, seventeen-year-old Anne Harper joins a support group for unwed mothers and finds her perspective on things completely changing when she learns each young woman’s story.

    Plummer, Louise: A Dance for Three
    When fifteen-year-old Hannah becomes pregnant and her rich, popular boyfriend claims he is not responsible, she is forced to face some hard facts about her life.

    Porter, Connie Rose: Imani All Mine
    Relates the story of Tasha, an unwed fourteen-year-old who raises her daughter Imani and survives the increasingly violent ghettos of Buffalo, New York, with determination and faith.

    Reynolds, Marilyn: No More Sad Goodbyes
    On the day before her abortion, Autumn’s father and grandmother die in a car accident, leaving her feeling lost and alone, especially after her best friend’s family kicks her out after they discover that she is pregnant.

    Sapphire: Push: a novel
    A courageous and determined young teacher opens up a new world of hope and redemption for sixteen-year-old Precious Jones, an abused young African-American girl living in Harlem, who was raped and left pregnant by her father.

    Simone, Ni-Ni: If I Was Your Girl
    Teenage single mother Toi McKnight struggles to balance school, her job, and taking care of her young son, and she finds herself immersed in more drama when she falls in love with Harlem, a man who refuses to date teenage mothers.

    Vega, Denise: Fact of Life #31
    Sixteen-year-old Kat, whose mother is a home-birth midwife, feels betrayed when a popular, beautiful classmate gets pregnant and forms a bond with Kat’s mother that Kat herself never had.

    Velasquez, Gloria: Teen Angel
    When fifteen-year-old Celia Chavez becomes pregnant, she receives help from her friends, family, and a psychiatrist who recently had a miscarriage.

    Werlin, Nancy: Impossible: a novel
    When Lucy discovers that her family is under an ancient curse by an evil Elfin Knight, she also finds out that she must perform three impossible tasks before her daughter is born in order to break the curse save them both.

    Williams-Garcia, Rita: Like Sisters on the Homefront
    Troubled fourteen-year-old Gayle and her baby are sent down South to live with her relatives, where her life begins to change as she experiences the healing power of the family

    Williams, Lori Aurelia: Broken China
    China Cup Cameron, a fourteen-year-old single mother with only her paralyzed Uncle Simon for support, takes on tremendous personal debt in hopes of a beautiful funeral after her daughter dies.

    Wolff, Virgina Euwer: Make Lemonade
    In order to earn money for college, fourteen-year-old LaVaughn babysits for a teenage mother’s children.

    Woodson, Jaqueline: The Dear One
    Twelve-year-old Feni has to adjust when the pregnant young daughter of an old friend of her mother comes to stay with them.

    Zeises, Lara M.: Contents Under Pressure
    Lucy, a fourteen-year-old high school freshman, experiences the happiness and confusion of dating a popular older boy, changing relationships with life-long friends, and sharing a bedroom with her older brother’s pregnant girlfriend.


    Anonymous: Annie’s Baby: The Diary of an Anonymous, Pregnant Teenager
    When Annie discovers she’s pregnant by her boyfriend, she’s devastated. She has never felt so alone. With no one she can talk to, she pours her heart out to her diary, confiding her feelings of panic, self-doubt, and the desperate hope that some day she can turn her life around. She decides she wants to keep her baby and dreams of loving and caring for this little person. But after the baby is born, it’s in her diary that she faces the agonizing question: Can she really raise this child on her own?

    Dear Diary, I’m Pregnant: Teenagers Talk about Their Pregnancy
    In a collecion of first-person accounts, ten teenagers of various income brackets, cultures, and regions describe their personal experiences of pregnancy, discussing such topics as adoption, abortion, sex, and keeping their baby.

  16. November 27, 2008 10:40 am

    I love you so much! Great place to visit!,

  17. March 29, 2009 10:57 pm

    Thank you very much. All I need is here !! on this blog 😀

  18. October 23, 2010 4:17 am

    Confessions of a Teenager: The Diaries of Three Troubled Teens , is a book I have written.

    One of the three main characters finds out she is pregnant and has to deal with the pregnancy on her own. Find out what happens to her. 🙂


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