Girls Like Us

Feiwel & Friends. Oct. 2019. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250155856.
Gr 9 Up–In 1972, four teenage girls find themselves pregnant. Upon the discovery of their condition, Missippi and Sue, one African American and the other Caucasian, are sent to Chicago to live in an apartment until the birth of their babies with other pregnant teens, under the care of Miss Pearlanne. Meanwhile, Ola is hiding her pregnancy from her mother, who doesn’t think highly of neighbor Missippi’s condition, and relies on her younger sister Izella to cover for her. While their pregnancies were all unplanned, one was a result of love, one of rape, and another of “that one time.” Ranging in ages from 14 (Missippi) to 17 (Sue), the teens forge a bond that refuses to be broken, even after their time at Pearlanne’s. Pink’s exquisite novel explores the period of time when women were on the cusp of being able to choose. A time when women were sent away out of shame and family disgrace or kept in the backwoods and left to their own devices. With gut-wrenching, realistic scenes that illustrate their youth and innocence to scenes that show their forced growth into motherhood, readers’ hearts will break for these teens who don’t know what to expect when their life throws them the unexpected.
VERDICT An excellent fictionalized look at the reality of teen pregnancy with a historical lens. A must for all teen collections.

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