Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant: Teenages Talk About Their Pregnancy

Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant: Teenages Talk About Their Pregnancy

by Anrenee Englander

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One out of five teenage women in the United States gets pregnant. Four of five teens is sexually active. In Dear Diary I'm Pregnant, ten teens talk about their personal experience of pregnancy. The selection of poignant, first-person accounts of courage and bravery chronicles a balanced range of experiences, including abortion, adoption, and deciding to keep

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One out of five teenage women in the United States gets pregnant. Four of five teens is sexually active. In Dear Diary I'm Pregnant, ten teens talk about their personal experience of pregnancy. The selection of poignant, first-person accounts of courage and bravery chronicles a balanced range of experiences, including abortion, adoption, and deciding to keep the child. Young women from various regions, income brackets and cultures are represented. They are articulate and insightful; their stories are sure to resonate with young people.

Editorial Reviews

Canadian Materials, Vol. 4, No. 4 - Cheryl Archer
Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant will be of great interest to many teens. Not only will it be helpful for those facing an unwanted pregnancy, but it will also increase young people's awareness of the realities and consequences of getting pregnant so young.... The unique way in which the interviews are presented via the teens' actual words, incorrect grammar unchanged, gives the book an authentic tone to which many young people will relate.... Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant covers an important and timely topic, one that must be shared with all young people. Adults, too, will benefit from this book by perhaps becoming more sympathetic and understanding caregivers to teens.
VOYA - Maura Bresnahan
These two new books about teenage pregnancy approach the issues from different angles, yet both reach the same conclusion: there are no easy answers to what is often a very traumatic, personal, life-altering event for the teens involved. Will teenage pregnancies be the downfall of society? Should we only worry about unwed teenage mothers? What are the options: adoption, abortion, or the teen raising the child on her/his own? These questions only begin to cover the wide range of issues discussed in these texts that are invaluable tools for not only teens themselves, but the adults who work and care about them. Teenage Pregnancy is another offering in the Opposing Viewpoints series, which tackles important societal issues from a wide range of opinion. The book allows readers to explore the issue of teenage pregnancy from a full spectrum of political and ethical belief systems. Conservative think tanks, liberal agencies, and freelance experts with views that cover every shade of the spectrum all have their say on teenage pregnancy's impact on American society at the end of the twentieth century. As in any good debate, both sides are given equal time and allowed to make their points in clear, concise language on topics that include illegitimacy, welfare, sex education programs, contraceptives, abstinence, and education and economic opportunities. Additional bibliographies and a list of organizations that provide information on the topic will be helpful resources to students doing more in-depth research. The teens themselves are heard in the second text. Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant is a compilation of interviews with ten teens who became pregnant. It looks at the impact of their decisions to keep the baby, have an abortion, or place the baby up for adoption. Each story is told in the actual voice of the interviewee. While the interviews were edited, the publisher aimed "to preserve the young women's voices-their words, their flow, and their idiomatic style of speaking." These accounts are more likely to have a personal impact on teen readers than the opinions in Teen Pregnancy, where the contributors were less directly involved with the issue. Readers will quickly see themselves in the young women, many from broken or single-parent homes, who are now struggling with the choices they made. The decision-making process each teen goes through is unique to her situation, but readers are still given a feel for the variety of options available. The book closes with a chapter titled "You Are Pregnant-Now What?" which gives readers a brief but clear outline of steps to consider when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. These books provide readers with balanced information on the variety of options available and the impact choices about pregnancy have on the teens and society as a whole. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles: Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant: Teenagers Talk About Their Pregnancy and Teenage Pregnancy: Opposing Viewpoints. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpDear Diary provides a much-needed voicethat of personal experienceto the literature on the subject. Unfortunately, it raises more questions than it answers. Ten young women recount their pregnancy experiences, how they chose to handle their situations, and the consequences of their actions. The teens represent a variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds, but many of them lived in group homes or in temporary housing. A significant number came from broken homes or had abusive father figures. Most of the interviewees also reported having multiple pregnancies before the age of 20. The book fails on several points. In the introduction, statements about the prevalence of teen abortion and reference to various "studies" are made without citations or other formal support. Also, the text includes limited information to contextualize the stories told. It suggests counseling without defining it or mentioning mental-health professionals and promotes prenatal care for women keeping their babies, but not for those opting for adoption. Also, the normal sense of loss that can accompany abortion and adoption, postpartum depression, postpartum sexuality, and contraception are some of the issues brought up in the narratives but never resolved. Susan Kuklin's What Do I Do Now? (Putnam, 1991) includes personal experiences and objective information, making it a better choice.Melissa Gross, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Englander interviewed around 40 young women who became pregnant in their teens, featuring ten of them in this informative, disquieting book. Each teen, after much deliberation, chose one of three alternatives for dealing with her pregnancy: abortion, adoption, or motherhood. The results are never wholly happy; the tacit point is that teenage pregnancy is never without complications, most of them serious. Although Englander, nonjudgmental in presentation, supplies several disclaimers to persuade readers that the girls' stories in the book do not comprise the entire range of situations, the tales are somewhat depressing. Mostly drifting into pregnancy, the young women only half-heartedly accept responsibility for their actions, and the young men only hover on the periphery. Although the interviews were edited into readable form, few of the teenagers are articulate and interesting enough to sustain the several-page, first-person narrations. The two most helpful sections are the introduction, which discusses the myths about teen pregnancy, and the afterword—"You are pregnant—now what?"—which gives the book its value, containing more solid information and real help for readers than all the tales of woe that precede it.

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Product Details

Annick Press, Limited
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.92(w) x 9.16(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
11 - 18 Years

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