Book Talk! Teen Pregnancy in Young Adult Books

Book Talk! Teen Pregnancy in Young Adult Books

Always a hot topic, usually taboo…Teen Pregnancy.

What are your feelings on the subject? As an educator? As a parent? As a member of society?

I know it is a tough one to swallow. I work in a high school and although we don’t have a lot of pregnant girls, we do see a few. It is a topic that we can’t ignore and is one that should be discussed with teens and parents alike.

Young Adult fiction is sometimes peppered with sex and the consequences of the action…one being teen pregnancy. This is an apparent theme in adult content as well. Popular videos are accessible for cartoonporno visitors which serve as a good example for those that want to better understand the space. It is usually done in good taste and the deed, in little detail. The stories that surround the topic of teen pregnancy in most YA books are often about the journey of motherhood, however, we are seeing a shift these days; we are seeing more books being published about teen fatherhood. Although more could be done through education instead of young adults checking out adult sites like this one and using it as a source of sexual education, check it out so you know what sort of things to look for. The fact that we are addressing that parenthood is the responsibility of BOTH the mom AND the dad in YA is a great thing. These story lines offer much thought and lead to great discussions. Here are a few books that touch on this hot-button issue that I feel should be in every YA library.

hooked

Hooked by Catherine Greeman

Thea Galehouse has always known how to take care of herself. With a flighty club-owner mom and a standoffish, recovering-alcoholic dad, Thea has made her own way in her hometown of New York, attending the prestigious and competitive Stuyvesant High School. But one chat with Will, a handsome and witty senior, and she’s a goner—completely hooked on him and unable to concentrate on anything else.
Always worried that she loves Will more than he loves her, Thea is pleasantly surprised when their romance weathers his move to college and Will goes out of his way to involve her in his life. But then, Thea misses a period. And that starts Thea and Will on a wild ride that neither of them could have possibly prepared for. When they decide to keep the baby, their concerned parents chip in what they can to keep Will in school and give both teenagers a comfortable place to raise their child. But when a freak accident leaves Thea shaken and threatens to upend their little family altogether, Thea is forced to turn to the last place she would have chosen for comfort: her stiff, uncompromising father.
This smart, touching first novel brims with realistic, beautifully drawn characters, and reminds us that love is never as easy or predictable as we might like it to be.

Goodreads | Amazon

PPPregnant Pause by Han Nolan

A thought-provoking and courageous new novel by National Book Award winner Han Nolan. Nobody gets away with telling Eleanor Crowe what to do. But as a pregnant sixteenyear-old, her options are limited: move to Kenya with her missionary parents or marry the baby’s father and work at his family’s summer camp for overweight kids. Despite her initial reluctance to help out, Elly is surprised that she actually enjoys working with the campers. But a tragedy on the very day her baby is born starts a series of events that overwhelms Elly with unexpected emotions and difficult choices. Somehow, she must turn her usual obstinance in a direction that can ensure a future for herself—and for the new life she has created.

Goodreads | Amazon

148769The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

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.
If only it was clear what the right thing was.

Goodreads | Amazon

20933641

What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?

Goodreads | Amazon

6378239

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

One pregnancy. Four friends. It all adds up to a profound time of change in this poignant, sensitively written YA novel.

Ellie remembers how the boys kissed her. Touched her. How they
begged for more. And when she gave it to them, she felt loved. For a
while anyway. So when Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life, leads her from a party to the backseat of his van, Ellie follows. But their “one-time thing” is far from perfect: Ellie gets pregnant. Josh reacts with shame and heartbreak, while their confidantes, Caleb and Corinne, deal with their own complex swirl of emotions. No matter what Ellie chooses, all four teenagers will be forced to grow up a little faster as a result. Told alternately from each character’s point of view, this deeply insightful novel explores the aftershocks of the biggest decision of one fragile girl’s life — and the realities of leaving innocence behind.

Goodreads | Amazon

411527

Slam by Nick Hornby

For 16-year-old Sam, life is about to get extremely complicated. He and his girlfriend—make that ex-girlfriend— Alicia have gotten themselves into a bit of trouble. Sam is suddenly forced to grow up and struggle with the familiar fears and inclinations that haunt us all.

Nick Hornby’s poignant and witty novel shows a rare and impressive understanding of human relationships and what it really means to be a man.

Goodreads | Amazon

12439950(me, him, them, and it) by Caela Carter

ME is Evelyn Jones, 16, a valedictorian hopeful who’s been playing bad girl to piss off THEM, her cold, distant parents. HIM is Todd, Evelyn’s secret un-boyfriend, who she thought she was just using for sex – until she accidentally fell in love with him. But before Evelyn gets a chance to tell Todd how she feels, something much more important comes up. IT. IT is a fetus. Evelyn is pregnant – and when Todd turns his back on her, Evelyn has no idea who to turn to. Can a cheating father, a stiff, cold mother, a pissed-off BFF, and a (thankfully!) loving aunt with adopted girls of her own help Evelyn make the heart-wrenching decisions that follow?

Goodreads | Amazon

25979531

My Girlfriend’s Pregnant by Chloe Shantz-Hilkes

For teens faced with an unplanned pregnancy, the news can be devastating. Typically, most attention is focused on the needs of the mother, but teenage fathers also face a future filled with fear, doubt, and guilt. My Girlfriend’s Pregnant provides much-needed information and support for teens suddenly thrust in the role of father.

Based on interviews with teenage dads, social workers, and medical professionals, this book explores:

• What it’s like to discover that your girlfriend is pregnant
• What to expect during pregnancy and childbirth
• The experience of parenthood—both positive and negative
• How involved the role of a teen dad can be
• How parenthood can affect young relationships
• The stress of being a teen dad
• The impact of abortion and adoption on young fathers

With an extensive list of further readings and resources to help with issues ranging from child support to bonding with your child, this book illustrates to young dads that they are not alone and that there are positive ways of dealing with the difficult choices that lie ahead.

Goodreads | Amazon

12000034

Love to Haight by Susan Carlton
It’s 1971, and seventeen-year-old Chloe and her best friend MJ head to San Francisco to ring in the New Year. But Chloe has an ulterior motive—and a secret. She’s pregnant and has devised a plan not to be. In San Francisco’s flower-power heyday, it was (just about) legal to end her pregnancy.
But as soon as the girls cross the Golden Gate, the scheme starts to unravel amid the bellbottoms, love-beads, and bongs. Chloe’s secrets escalate until she betrays everyone she cares about. MJ, who has grave doubts about Chloe’s plan. Her groovy aunt Kiki, who’s offered the girls a place to crash. Her self-absorbed mother meditating back in Phoenix. And maybe, especially, the boy she wishes she’d waited for.

Happy Reading!

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