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Dancing Naked

Dancing Naked

4.7 32
by Shelley Hrdlitschka

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Kia is sixteen and pregnant. Her world crumbles as she attempts to come to terms with the life growing inside her and what she must do. Initially convinced that abortion is her only option, Kia comes to understand that for her, the answers are not always black and white. As the pregnancy progresses, Kia discovers who her real friends are and where their loyalties lie.


Kia is sixteen and pregnant. Her world crumbles as she attempts to come to terms with the life growing inside her and what she must do. Initially convinced that abortion is her only option, Kia comes to understand that for her, the answers are not always black and white. As the pregnancy progresses, Kia discovers who her real friends are and where their loyalties lie. It is through her relationship with the elderly Grace that she learns what it means to take responsibility for one's life and the joy that can come from trusting oneself. Faced with the most difficult decision of her life, Kia learns that the path to adulthood is not the easily navigable trail she once thought, but a twisting labyrinth where every turn produces a new array of choices, and where the journey is often undertaken alone.

Editorial Reviews

"The subject matter, plus strong writing and plotting, invites recreational reading; also consider this for curriculum support."
Children's Book News
"Exhibits a marked development in the author's style and exploration of character."
This story takes place over the nine months of 16-year-old Kia's pregnancy. She loses her virginity with her boyfriend, and though they use a condom, Derek and Kia "must be that lucky one percent or whatever it is." Kia's father pressures her to have an abortion, but she decides to go through with the pregnancy and adoption with the help of her church. Derek immediately breaks up with her, so she leans on Justin, the leader of her church youth group. The moral role is taken by Kia's "kind of liberal" Unitarian church. As her minister says, "Society is so hypocritical, isn't it?... Our own Sex Education course encourages abstinence... but also teaches that sexuality is a wonderful human experience. How can we expect teens to choose to abstain when these powerful messages are everywhere?" Kia's journey, shown in e-mail and journal entries as well as through standard narration, will prove a useful one for readers who want to see an exploration of some choices a pregnant teen may face. Human interaction and spiritual musings are all narrowly focused on Kia's understanding of her pregnancy. The only characters that are condemned by the novel are those who see only one possible option for Kia and refuse to consider others. KLIATT Codes: S—Recommended for senior high school students. 2001, Orca, 250p.,
— Deborah Kaplan
Kia is a typical sixteen-year-old girl involved with friends at school, her youth group, and community service at a local seniors' home. When she discovers that she is pregnant after her first sexual experience, however, she immediately feels isolated. Her pregnancy ends her relationship with Derek, although he accompanies her to an abortion clinic to ensure that she erases the evidence. At the last moment, Kia realizes she cannot go through with the abortion and the rest of the book deals with the consequences of her decision. Hrdlitschka carries the reader through Kia's pregnancy, titling chapters with the week of pregnancy plus a description of the baby's development. Kia faces the reactions and judgments of her parents, little sister, Derek, friends, and ultimately, herself. The reader follows Kia's journey through narrative, personal journal entries, dialogue, and Kia's e-mail correspondence with her youth group leader, Justin. Hrdlitschka's writing weaves these elements together to provide the reader with a well-rounded sense of Kia's experience. The e-mail letters are particularly realistic and often poignant. Justin is a central figure, playing a role in Kia's life that is alternately father, confidante, and surrogate partner. Justin's characterization, like the book itself, is complex, rich, and unpredictable. Hrdlitschka manages to cover several sensitive topics with grace, care, and insight with a cast of fully realized characters. Although Kia has many sources of support, this book ultimately is about the journey of self-reliance and is a recommended purchase for all libraries serving young adults. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Willappeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Orca, 250p,
— Cynthia Gueswel
Sixteen-year-old Kia thought she had found the right guy when she met Derek. He had something she couldn't explain — something that made her forget everything and everyone else. Once she got pregnant, however, her image of "perfect" Derek faded. Derek proves to be a non-supportive teen father, and suddenly, she is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever. The only fully supportive friend she has is youth group leader Justin, but she will find out, while she is grappling with her unplanned pregnancy, that Justin is hiding a secret of his very own. This book chronicles the arduous journey of a young girl who has to stand up for what she believes in when everyone else is against her. Author Hrdlitschka gives us a real-life look at the fears, hopes, disappointments, and pain associated with teen pregnancy. This book is a good starting point to open up the communication in classrooms about pregnancy, birth control, and abortion, among other controversial issues. It shows how a child's life can change when they are forced to make very adult decisions. 2001, Orca Book Publishers, 250 pp.,
— Kristie Lehmen
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-A heart-wrenching story about 16-year-old Kia, whose life is about to change forever as she learns she is pregnant. She must then confront not only her own fears but also the feelings of her parents and her friends from her church youth group. She is talked into going for an abortion by her irresponsible boyfriend, but quickly realizes that pressure is not a reason to end a life. The story takes readers through her pregnancy, week-by-week, through third-person narrative and e-mails between Kia and her good friend and youth counselor, Justin. She becomes predictably attracted to this 23-year-old young man, but he is gay, and she must come to terms with the fact that they will never materialize into a couple and raise her baby, which Kia often dreams about. Throughout the book, the teen matures and begins to understand that giving birth and raising a baby are two different things. She struggles with the decision of whether to keep the baby or to choose loving parents who can give the infant a life it deserves. In the end, she is able to make the choice that best suits her and provides her child with options. The story is similar in scope to Marilyn Reynolds's Detour for Emmy (Morning Glory, 1993) and Beatrice Sparks's Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Avon, 1998), complete with the unsupportive boyfriend who does not understand and is in denial, and the family members who try to be supportive. It's thought-provoking and competently done.-Nicole M. Marcuccilli, Glenview Public Library, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.55(d)
560L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

"I think I'm pregnant."

Derek stared at her, stunned. She stared back.

He finally found his voice. "You say you think. You don't know for sure?"

"I'm almost three weeks late."

"That's it?” Derek brushed by her. "I hear my sisters talking all the time. That's no big deal."

"It's a big deal for me."

Meet the Author

Shelley Hrdlitschka is the author of several novels for teens. She lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking, snowshoeing, practicing yoga, Zumba dancing or volunteering at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. For more information, visit www.shelleyhrdlitschka.wordpress.com.

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Dancing Naked 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Honestly , i didnt put this bok down till the very last page. I felt as if i was kia at the end, everything was so detailed and put me into a spot as if i was choosing to keep the baby or not. Wonderful Book
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is such a touching book for all teenage girls. even if you aren't pregnant. it is such a great story. i cryed so hard at the end. i love this book. i felt like kia was my friend during the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for my English class my sophomore year and I ended up not being able to put it down!!! When I read it, I felt like Kia, definitely. It's a great book and I can actually REALLY relate to Kia now that I've got some of her issues. I recommended this book to my cousin and I would definitely recommend it to anyone else!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I have read in a long time that has been good. I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning finishing the book because it was a VERY GOOD BOOK! I would recommend this book to anyone who is in search of a book of a girl finding herself in her time of trouble.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was in the bookstore & couldn't find anything interesting, until I picked this book up. From that point on, I simply couldn't put it down. Shortly before reading this book, a close friend of mine discovered that she was pregnant, and had pretty close to the same situation that Kia did. So not only did I love the book as a reader, I understood what Kia was going through from a friend's perspective also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that the book Dancing Naked was proficient and eye-opening . Shelley Hrdlitschka did a good job writting this awe-inspiring and astounding novel. It really made me think more carefully about what it would be like to be a teen mother and the postives and negatives of it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was beautifully written. It was a book a couldn't put down. We take a ride with Kia month by month through her pregnancy and feel all the emotions she feels. I got so into the book, I felt I was the main character, Kia. I laughed, I loved, and I cried. This is a book I reccomend to any teenage girl.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a teenager myself i have dealt with some of the things that she dealt with in the book. Many of my friends went through the scare of being pregnant, and so did I. Every choice we make at this age can effect everything, especially when it comes to sex. Although I am not having a child, this book put me so into it, that one day I want one. This book one of my best friends see that, just because she was having a baby her life wasn't over. haveing a baby can be both good and bad... But the book helps to see both sides.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Man i loved this book. i couldnt stop crying when i read it and i recommend it to alot of ppl.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books, she goes through so manythings and so many emotions its like you live it through her. i couldnt put the book down - no lie it is a great book every girl should read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was simply amazing! I loved the e-mails and journal entries. It seemed as if I were pregnant as well. As each page comes to an end, you grow with Kia, and learn the dificulties of teen pregnancy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great! I just couldn't put it down. THis is truly an inspiration, and the situations in the story can be very similar to ones in our real world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutley touching. Tears are still running down my cheeks. I feel like I was one with kia; I could feel her feelings. This book is an absolute must read. Its heart wrenching, touching, and overall amazing. If I could rate higher than five stars, I would.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so realistic. As having been there myself and hving to mak those decisions I found it comfortin that someone else could write about such a hard situation. Having made the decision for myself recently it is easy to still relate o Kia.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But i cant get the hard copy if somebodybcan just tell me what happens that would b greatly helpful. If you are helping me in the bo under the stars put " TO:SOCCERLOVA17
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Morgan Strosnider More than 1 year ago
Wow this is the first book i have bought with my nook and i finished it in 2 days! I never could put it down im so happy i got it,buy this book!!!!! Totally worth it!
Stacy Foucault More than 1 year ago
This was one of those books you just cant put down till your done!! LOVED IT!!!!!!!
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wheeze More than 1 year ago
Kia is the dream 16 year old. Has amazing friends, a super cool boyfriend, and a family that loves her no matter what. All of that seems to change once Kia gets pregnant with her boyfriend, Derek's baby. Her friends pull away from her, Derek leaves her in the dust, and even her family looks like they are walking on egg shells. With the emotional rollercoaster she is always on, Kia starts to be a part of her youth group again, and spend more time at a retirement home. That's where she meets Grace, an 80 something elderly woman that still has a spirit of her own. With her due due near, and the adopted parents picked out, Kia suddenly realized how to dance naked. DANCING NAKED is a story for every teen on how to learn, love, and most of all, be yourself.