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The first part last
Angela Johnson
Teen Fiction JOHNSON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this companion novel, Johnson's fans learn just how Bobby, the single father for whom Marley baby-sits in Heaven, landed in that small town in Ohio. Beginning his story when his daughter, Feather, is just 11 days old, 16-year-old Bobby tells his story in chapters that alternate between the present and the bittersweet past that has brought him to the point of single parenthood. Each nuanced chapter feels like a poem in its economy and imagery; yet the characters-Bobby and the mother of his child, Nia, particularly, but also their parents and friends, and even newborn Feather-emerge fully formed. Bobby tells his parents about the baby ("Not moving and still quiet, my pops just starts to cry") and contrasts his father's reaction with that of Nia's father ("He looks straight ahead like he's watching a movie outside the loft windows"). The way he describes Nia and stands by her throughout the pregnancy conveys to readers what a loving and trustworthy father he promises to be. The only misstep is a chapter from Nia's point of view, which takes readers out of Bobby's capable hands. But as the past and present threads join in the final chapter, readers will only clamor for more about this memorable father-daughter duo-and an author who so skillfully relates the hope in the midst of pain. Ages 12-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This Printz and Coretta Scott King Award winner has one of the best covers ever put to a teen book, depicting a beautiful and devoted father cradling a sleeping infant. It is almost a shame that the awards stickers cover so much of it. Bobby is a teen father left to raise his daughter, Feather, when her mother suffers from irreversible brain damage. He must navigate the responsibility of caring for an infant and all the anxiety that comes from hoping for a better future for her. Why It Is for Us: If you read the book aloud, it sounds less like prose than pure poetry. Bobby is in love with his baby girl, and you feel it on every page. While he considers giving her up for adoption, he ultimately decides to parent her himself. "I'm supposed to suck it up and do all the right things if I can, even if I screw it up and have to do it over." True words for any father, 16 or 36. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Bobby
Male
Age: 16
African American
Gifted artist; looking forward to going to college; found out on his 16th birthday that he was going to be a father.



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