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The First Part Last - Angela Johnson

Citation:

Johnson, A. (2003). The first part last. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

 

Annotation:

Bobby is a typical urban New York City teenager — impulsive, eager, restless. For his sixteenth birthday he cuts school with his two best buddies, grabs a couple of slices at his favorite pizza joint, catches a flick at a nearby multiplex, and gets some news from his girlfriend, Nia, that changes his life forever: He's going to be a father.

Suddenly things like school and house parties and fun times with friends are replaced by visits to Nia's obstetrician and countless social workers who all say that the only way for Nia and Bobby to lead a normal life is to put their baby up for adoption. Then tragedy strikes Nia, and Bobby finds himself in the role of single, teenage father. Because his child — their child — is all that remains of his lost love.

With powerful language and keen insight, Johnson tells the story of a young man's struggle to figure out what "the right thing" is and then to do it. The result is a gripping portrayal of a single teenage parenthood from the point of view of a young on the threshold of becoming a man.

 

Author's Information:
is an award winning American children's book and poetry author with over 40 books to her credit. She began her writing career in 1989 with the publication of a picture book called "Tell Me a Story, Mama" which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award in 1991. She has won three Coretta Scott King Awards, one each for her novels "The First Part Last (2004)," "Heaven(1999)," and "Toning the Sweep" (1994)."The First Part Last" was also the recipient of the Michael L Printz Award. "When I Am Old With You" was an Honor Book in 1990 and named an American Library Association Notable Book. "The Other Side, The Shorter Poems" was also selected as a Coretta Scott King Honor book in 1998. In recognition of her outstanding talent, Angela was named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow. Born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1961, she grew up in Alabama and Ohio. She lives in Kent, Ohio.

 

Rewards:

The Printz Award in 2007

Coretta Scott King Author Award 2004

Alabama Author Award 2005

Green Mountain Book Award 2005

 

Reading Level: Grades 7-12

Genre: Realistic Fiction