Thursday, May 25, 2017

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

“If the world were really right, humans would live life backward and do the first part last. They'd be all knowing in the beginning and innocent in the end...”-The First Part Last

So, The First Part Last will make you cry. You know that ugly cry you do with the snot and the wrinkled, prune-like face? Yeah, you’re going to do that one. But eventually you will smile, because the love between this male protagonist and his infant child is so powerful and heartwarming.

On his sixteenth birthday, Bobby finds out his girlfriend, Nia, is pregnant. At a time when he wants to be hanging out with his friends and playing basketball, he is suddenly trying to figure out how to be a father. Bobby isn’t your average teen dad, though. He knows he’s made a mistake, but he is willing to step up to the plate. It’s just going to be tougher than he thinks.

This book is the second in Angela Johnson's Heaven series. It is amazing for several reasons. First, it gives you a peek into the mind of a teenage dad, which is a perspective that is often forgotten or ignored. Second, that very exploration of the male psyche explodes many of the stereotypes that teen fathers, particularly African-American males, face. Lastly, the author, Angela Johnson, beautifully renders the emotionally poignant moments between the child and his young father in poetic language. So, grab your tissues, and give this book a try.

Other books you can check out are:  Heaven by Angela Johnson  and Hoops by Walter Dean Myers

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