Hi. My name is Tami. I am the author of this blog. You can contact me by posting a comment or emailing me at readaton@gmail.com. I am also happy to add you as a friend at www.goodreads.com where I keep track of everything I am reading.

I LOVE to read. I am pursuing my master's degree in library and information science at San Jose State University. Right now I mostly use this blog for class assignments.

No matter your reading tastes you will find books for you here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The First Part Last

The First Part Last

by Angela Johnson
Simon & Schuster, 2003
ISBN 0689849222
131 pages

3 (out of 5) STARS

Plot Summary

Bobby is your classic urban teenaged boy -- impulsive, eager, restless. On his sixteenth birthday he gets some news from his girlfriend, Nia, that changes his life forever. She's pregnant. Bobby's going to be a father. Suddenly things like school and house parties and hanging with friends no longer seem important as they're replaced by visits to Nia's obstetrician and a social worker who says that the only way for Nia and Bobby to lead a normal life is to put their baby up for adoption.


Critical Evaluation

Bobby is brave in deciding as a teenager to keep his baby daughter. I think this is commendable but maybe not portrayed as realistic in the novel. One aspect I do like in the book is that Bobby's mother does not take over and care for the daughter. She says the child is Bobby's responsibility. And Bobby does amazingly well. But it is difficult to raise a child and be successful. I do not think this book shows the difficulty of such a choice.

However, this book has won many awards. Such as Georgia Peach Book Award (2004), Printz Award (2004), Coretta Scott King Award for Author (2004), ALA Teens' Top Ten (2003),ALA's Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (2004)

Reader’s Annotation

Bobby's life changes when he becomes a father and decides to care for his child full time.

Information about the author

Since 1989 Angela Johnson has been steadily producing exceptional books for young people, ranging from picture books for children to novels, poetry, and short stories for young adults. Her works have earned her the adoration of fans and the admiration of reviewers, many of whom have commented on her exceptional ability to create memorable, real characters who stay in readers' minds long after the book cover has been closed. In most of her books Johnson addresses personal, everyday subjects: family relationships, the difficulties of growing up, seeking comfort from loved ones during times of struggle. A number of reviewers have noted that, while many of Johnson's characters are African American, the circumstances they confront and the emotions they express are so true to life that they can be appreciated by all readers. Johnson's editor, Kevin Lewis, stated in an article for the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, "A reader might begin thinking that they have nothing in common with [Johnson's characters], but by the end they realize that the list of things people share—things like family, friends, struggle, change, love, loss, dreams, and so on—is much more profound [or, meaningful] than the list of our differences."

Born in 1961 in Tuskegee, Alabama, Johnson grew up in Alabama and Ohio. Reading and listening to stories was a significant part of her childhood. Her father and grandfather were natural storytellers, and Johnson can pinpoint the moment when she realized that her own fondness for stories was more than a passing interest. As described on the African American Literature Book Club (AALBC) Web site, Johnson recalled hearing a particularly compelling storyteller during her early school years. She realized that the characters of her favorite books had come alive in her mind, becoming as real as the children sitting next to her in school. "That is when I knew," she remembered. "I asked for a diary that year and have not stopped writing."



realistic fiction

Curriculum Ties

family relationships. life skills.

Booktalking Ideas

*Talk about the choices we make always have consequences. There are always choices. What are some choices you have made?

Reading Level

age 12 and up

Challenge Issues


Why Included?

Teen pregnancy and parenthood are life experiences some teens are working through. This book would be a great source of strength and information for these teens.

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