Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky

Read while home alone? definitely
Tissues needed? no
Overall rating: 4 stars

History repeats itself as the 17-year-old daughter of the unwed 35-year-old high school principal (you can do the math!) gets pregnant. The news shocks their small Maine town, but when two more pregnancies are announced, an uproar ensues. Consequences of the girls’ actions go far beyond the babies they dreamed of raising together.

Not My Daughter captured my interest right away and the pace of the story kept me involved. Family relationships—past and present—are untangled as family roles are redefined. It was interesting to see how all the characters handled the realities of teen pregnancy up close. I liked that the end of Not My Daughter wrapped up loose ends, but wasn’t an unrealistic picture of the results of teen pregnancy.

Delinsky is masterful at fleshing out characters who engage me. She then weaves lives together in such a real way that I feel like I’m part of the community in the book. I love that!

Discussion Questions:
  • How would your community react to 3 high school seniors getting pregnant?
  • Does it matter if the girls are college-bound athletes? From “good” families?
  • How much blame goes to parents in this situation?
  • How would your family have responded?
  • What events happened in your family that changed roles and relationships?
  • How do television shows about pregnant teens/young mothers impact public opinion?

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