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Johnson, Angela.
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2003.
ISBN 0689849222

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

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?

Booktalk #2

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, Bobby states:
“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 my brothers.”
“I’d like to help my mom with her.”
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 she’s mine.
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)

Booktalk #3

A is for Adore, how I feel about you
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 wake
F is for Feather
G is for Grandma, yours, my mom
H is for Happy and Heaven and Hope, and sometimes Hollow… how I feel being alone
I is for Instant, how everything changed
J is for Joy
K is for Keep, keeping you…keeping faith
L is for Love at first sight
M is for Moment
N is for Nia, your mother, so sweet
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 and soft
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.
Oklahoma Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award nominee, 2005-2006

SUBJECTS:     Teenage fathers -- Fiction.
                        Teenage parents -- Fiction.
                        Father and child -- Fiction.
                        Babies -- Fiction.
                        African Americans -- Fiction.


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