Friday, June 8, 2012

Teen/YA Review: The Pregnancy Project: A Memoir

I always enjoy reading memoirs, so the new teen/YA memoir The Pregnancy Project, by teen Gaby Rodriguez, caught my eye.  Gaby’s story is a captivating one, well told with the help of author Jenna Glatzer.

Gaby comes from a long line of teen mothers.  Her own mother became pregnant at just fourteen and went on to have seven more children.  Her grandmother and aunts were all teen moms, too, as well as some of her own older sisters.  Gaby, an intelligent, hard-working young woman, was determined not to follow in their footsteps and become another statistic.  Her family’s history, though, made the topic of teen pregnancy intriguing to her.

So, when it was time to choose a year-long Senior Project along with her classmates, Gaby came up with something truly unique.  With the approval of her principal (and her mother and boyfriend), Gaby pretended to become pregnant in order to observe how friends, peers, family, and teachers treated her and to explore the stereotypes of pregnant teens.  This memoir is the story of Gaby’s project and her experiences inside the world of a pregnant teen.  It is eye-opening, to say the least.

I was fascinated by this memoir and by Gaby’s story.  Apparently, so was the rest of the world, as Gaby became an overnight sensation, sought after by every newspaper, TV network, and talk show in the nation (and beyond).  Lifetime even made a movie about her experiences (I’d like to see that).  Her memoir provides an inside look at high school, poor Hispanic populations, and the plight of pregnant teens.  It should be required reading for every teen girl.

216 pages, Simon & Schuster


Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Monday 6/4! What Are You Reading?

Wow, last week was just a nonstop whirlwind of activity, but I survived!  Our oldest son, Jamie, graduated with honors from high school this weekend.  We are so proud of him!

So, amid all the preparations, house guests, graduation activities, and party, none of us had much time for reading, and I had no time at all for writing blog posts or book reviews.  I don't expect it to get much better this week:  we have more house guests, our son's 8th grade graduation, and lots of vacation preparation.

Still, we did squeeze in a little reading:
  • I read The Pregnancy Project: A Memoir by Gaby Rodriguez, a very unique teen/YA memoir written by a young woman who pretended to be pregnant during her senior year in high school in order to observe how friends, peers, family, and teachers treated her and explore stereotypes of pregnant teens.  It was a fascinating memoir.  I'd like to see the Lifetime movie made from her book.
  • Next, I decided to get started on My Big Book Summer Challenge with an easy one, Blood Red Road by Moira Young, a dystopian teen/YA novel.  It is written in a very unusual style with sparse prose and no quotation marks, but the story is so engaging that is has grown on me.  It's getting hard to put down now!
  • My husband, Ken, is still reading A Game of Thorns by George R.R. Martin, but he says he only has 150 pages to go now!  He's really enjoying it.  He was already perusing the TBR shelves last night, trying to decide what to read next while we're on vacation. 
  • Jamie, 17, had a very busy week, filled with all sorts of senior activities at school, plus trying to finish his work (he was sick a lot this year so has some work to finish over the summer), but when he needed a break, he read Spiral by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, Book 5 in the Tunnels series.  Talk about Big Books - these are all huge!  Jamie loves this series and says it just keeps getting better.
  • Craig, 14, finished Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen, part of his series that begins with Hatchet, a favorite in our family.  We'd listened to the audio many years ago, but Craig enjoyed reading the book.  He is now finished with his reading requirements for middle school!  Thank goodness he has some required summer reading for his new high school or he'd probably not read at all during the summer!
 Remember to sign up for the Big Book Summer Challenge - in keeping with the easy-going nature of summer, there are few requirements - just read one book over 400 pages (or as many big books as you like!).  Check out my own stack of big books I hope to read this summer and sign up yourself!

What are you and your family reading this week?

(What are you reading Monday is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey with a kids/teen version hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.)