Girl with a Baby

Girl with a Baby

4.5 2
by Sylvia Olsen
     
 

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You are the same girl that came to school last year. They are the same kids. But nothing was the same and I knew it. I had become the girl with a baby.

Jane has always been the good Williams. Her brothers might be high school dropouts and late-night rowdy partiers, but never Jane. Jane never drinks, smokes dope or misses a single day of school. She's in

Overview

You are the same girl that came to school last year. They are the same kids. But nothing was the same and I knew it. I had become the girl with a baby.

Jane has always been the good Williams. Her brothers might be high school dropouts and late-night rowdy partiers, but never Jane. Jane never drinks, smokes dope or misses a single day of school. She's in the drama club...smart and hot...one of the popular ones. Or she used to be. Now she's one of those: the teenage mothers packing diaper bags with their knapsacks, wheeling strollers into the high school daycare, tired and grumpy.

Jane's only 14, younger than most of them, and she can feel the stares in the school halls. She can hear the whispers on her whitebread street, too: too bad, gone the way of her brothers, guess those Indians are all the same. Jane isn't what she used to be-but then, maybe she's more. When baby Destiny was being born, grandmother Tet told her she came from a long line of strong mothers, and Jane's discovering it's true. Because of baby Destiny, Jane dares to demand the best, not just of herself, but of her whole family. This Jane accepts the consequences of her decisions, good and bad, and pushes through prejudices the former Jane just tiptoed around. This Jane is a strong link in something bigger than herself. She's a girl with a baby, two feet on the ground, one hand in the warm grasp of Tet and her Indian past, and the other holding firmly to the future.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
14-year-old Jane, a Native American girl living in British Columbia, has a baby and is forced to make some major changes in her life. She manages to keep her pregnancy a secret up until the day before she gives birth. Her family helps her adjust to her new life the best they can, but all have their own problems to deal with. Jane has always been the good one in the family; her brothers spend their time drinking and getting chased by police, while her father retreats from his family after the death of Jane's mother. Jane's grandmother plays an important role in bolstering Jane's self-esteem, constantly reminding her that she's come from a long line of strong, resourceful women. Jane's life is hard enough without the added pressure of being a mother. She doesn't feel she fits in anywhere. Her father is white, so she stands out at the Indian reservation; but because she inherited her mother's Native coloring, she still is different in their new town. She is under constant pressure to watch out for the family, keep them together, and to ensure her own success. Now that she has a baby, Jane finds that everyone judges her solely on this. At school, she is "the girl with a baby." To her neighbors, she is just fulfilling their stereotypes of Native Americans. Jane's struggle for acceptance, both from herself and her community, make this a compelling story. Anyone looking to build their selection of fiction on Native Americans shouldn't pass up this title. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Sono Nis Press, dist. by Orca, 203p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Amanda MacGregor
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-The perfect daughter in a less-than-perfect family, Jane Williams now has a daughter of her own. But having a baby at age 14 is a sure sign that the teen made a mistake somewhere along the line. Deserted by the infant's father and with her own mother dead, Jane returns to school, fearing she will no longer be popular and successful; she will just be "the girl with a baby." She finds unexpected support from other students and her family, in particular, her Native American grandmother, Teh, who guides her along the path that leads her to be the strong and wise young woman she was meant to become. This is a rite-of-passage story, joining the strength and tradition of Jane's tribal heritage as given to her by her people with her personal struggle to face and win her own battles. Lyrical passages of tribal life mirror Jane's contemporary thoughts and dreams. She discovers that Destiny is aptly named, for her child transforms the lives of all the people she touches, especially her mother. Set in Canada, this contemporary novel beautifully blends a realistic story of teenage life with a unique view of an old and largely unknown Native American culture. This is a common story told uncommonly well.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550391428
Publisher:
Sono Nis Press
Publication date:
01/01/2003
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,082,086
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Sylvia Olsen is the author of many books and has been nominated for and won numerous awards. She usually writes for children and young adults about the place between cultures where Canada's First Nations and settlers come together. She is also a storyteller who loves to work with young people to help them find their written and spoken voice. Sylvia is the mother of four and grandmother of seven. She lives in North Saanich near Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.sylviaolsen.ca.

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. It is defianetly one of my top five favorites. I loved how real Jane was portrayed and how she overcame the obstacles and became a wonderful mom. I cried, laughed, and bit my nails. When I finished, I wished it could go on forever. I felt like I knew what was coming for me, and didn't feel scared for myself and my baby. I almost wish the characters were real. If you don't read this book, pregnant or not, you are missing out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just recently finished reading this book, and, though it took a while, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The way the author blended modern-day American culture with that of the Native American past was great. Because of its vivid story and great morals, I recommend this book to any and everyone, though because there is some coarse language (the main character's brother's use of the f- and s-words are almost incessant), anyone over 12, like the back cover says, should enjoy reading it.