Bechard writes with humor and empathy, weaving the story of 17-year-old Sam in a very real look at the lives of teen fathers today. A breath of fresh air . . . a poignant winner of a book.--School Library Journal, starred review.
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Between the midnight feedings and the diaper issue, it's never easy being a new parent. But when you're also a high-school student trying to graduate, the job becomes even more overwhelming. Sam Pettigrew never dreamed he'd spend his senior year pushing a stroller. But when his former girlfriend, Brittany, decided that she couldn't handle being a parent, Sam knew he had to try. Now attending an alternative high school that provides daycare, Sam desperately juggles homework and parenting duties. "The list above my desk said, 'Get Max to sleep by 9:00.' Right under 'Drink out of a cup' and 'nap schedule.' I couldn't even remember what 'nap schedule' meant. " Sam's biggest problem is his lack of support: Brittany has left town to start over, and Sam's widowed father, angry over Sam's decision, refuses to help Sam other than financially. Claire Bailey, another teen parent, only serves to show Sam how alone he is--her family loves to babysit and buy toys for her baby, Emily. Finally, after a disastrous night spent in the emergency room when Max cuts his hand, Sam becomes defeated. How much longer can he keep up this crazy schedule of school and fatherhood? Yet, how can he bear not to keep it up, when giving it up means giving up Max?
With this kind of subject matter, it would be easy for seasoned author Margaret Bechard to slip into didactic "after-school special" mode. Instead she has penned a truly tender, reversed-gender tearjerker with an ending as realistic as it is heartbreaking. A four-hankie recommended read. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer HubertAbout the Author:
Margaret Bechard is the author of five novels for younger readers, and one other young adult novel, If It Doesn't Kill You, which SLJ praised for its "healthy dose of humor." She lives in Tigard, Oregon, with her family.
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