Bobby is just your typical
inner-city teenager. He's got his friends and his family. He
goes to school and has some dreams for the future. But he also has
a baby. That hadn't been in the plan at all. But now it's Bobby
and Feather. Sometimes it scares him that she needs him so much.
But he knows he loves her more than anything. What is life like for
a teenage boy trying to raise a baby? What emotions does his face?
Can he do it?
Sixteen year old Bobby is raising
his newborn daughter by himself in New York. He loves her tremendously,
but is struggling to adjust to his new life.
The text is so descriptive
and gives a great deal of insight into the feelings of teens who become
parents when their “growing-up” years have been interrupted.
In describing his daughter,
“Her eyes are the clearest
eyes I’ve ever seen.
Sometimes she looks at me
like she knows me. Like she’s known
me forever, and everything
I ever thought, too. It’s scary how she
looks at me.
And she’s so new. Been
on the planet for only a few months. I
been thinking about it a whole
lot lately. I feel old.
I feel old when I wake up
at three thirty in the morning and change
her diaper, then change
it again when she pees right after I put
her sleeper back on.
I feel old when I stroll her
into Mineo’s, park her by my table while
I eat a few slices and catch
up on the comics I haven’t read in weeks.
I really feel old when I’m
holding her on the subway and some lady
tells me what a good
brother I am and how I’m so good with her. I
feel stooped over then.
You’d think I’d feel young.
For that one time on the way
home I could pretend my baby is my
sister. I could
smile at the lady and say:
“Yeah, she’s easy to deal
with, my sister.”
“She looks just like me and
“I’d like to help my mom with
Even if I’m feeling old when
this stuff happens I just change her
diaper, put my food down and
hold her when she cries, and tell
the woman on the train that
Afterward I always kiss her,
by baby, and look into her clear eyes
that know everything about
me, and want me to be her daddy anyway.”
Read this book to find out
how Bobby handles fatherhood. (Janet Kenney, South
Carolina Book Awards, 2006)
A is for Adore, how I feel
B is for Bobby and baby, and
bottle and burp, and bath and bubbles
C is for City
D is for Diaper, who knew
you’d need so many
E is for Early when we both
F is for Feather
G is for Grandma, yours, my
H is for Happy and Heaven
and Hope, and sometimes Hollow… how I feel being alone
I is for Instant, how everything
J is for Joy
K is for Keep, keeping you…keeping
L is for Love at first sight
M is for Moment
N is for Nia, your mother,
O is for Old, I feel so old
P is for Patience, I wish
Q is for Quiet, I wish
R is for Rest, I wish
S is for Smell, like baby
T is for Two, in the morning,
party time for you, but I know we need to sleep
U is for Understanding
V is for Vision
W is for Wish, how I wish
it were different
X, Y, Z is for Zillion…the
memories we’ll make, just you and me, Feather, my baby.
Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award nominee, 2005-2006