No One’s Baby

Lorimer. (Lorimer SideStreets). Aug. 2021. 192p. Tr $27.99. ISBN 9781459414983.
Gr 9 Up–When teenager Lizzie discovers that she is pregnant, she sets out on a journey to meet her birth mother in this hi-lo text. Lizzie, who is biracial, has always had friction with her white adopted mother, Eileen, that she attributes to race. Her pregnancy leads her to run away and she begins living at a women’s shelter. The shelter connects her with others less fortunate than her, including teens dealing with homelessness and sex work. Just as a social worker finds a lead that may point Lizzie to her mother, news comes that Eileen is dangerously ill with stomach cancer. Lizzie decides to head home, and the news of her pregnancy helps heal the issues between the two. The book deals head-on with gritty themes like adoption, abuse, and teen pregnancy; however, the neat resolution at the end seems to oversimplify Lizzie’s experience regarding race with her mother and predominantly white town. The text, written at a second grade reading level, combined with edgier, relatable content for high schoolers, will appeal to striving readers.
VERDICT A solid addition to collections needing hi-lo realistic fiction.

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