November Blues (Jericho Trilogy #2)by Sharon M. Draper
When November Nelson loses her boyfriend, Josh, to a pledge stunt gone horribly wrong, she thinks her life can't possibly get any worse. But Josh left something behind that will change November's life forever, and now she's faced with the biggest decision she could ever imagine. How in the world will she tell her mom? And how will Josh's parents take the news? She's… See more details below
When November Nelson loses her boyfriend, Josh, to a pledge stunt gone horribly wrong, she thinks her life can't possibly get any worse. But Josh left something behind that will change November's life forever, and now she's faced with the biggest decision she could ever imagine. How in the world will she tell her mom? And how will Josh's parents take the news? She's never needed a friend more.
Jericho Prescott lost his best friend when he lost his cousin, Josh, and the pain is almost more than he can bear. His world becomes divided into "before" and "after" Josh's death. He finds the only way he can escape the emptiness he feels is to quit doing the things that made him happy when his cousin was alive, such as playing his beloved trumpet, and take up football, where he hopes the physical pain will suppress the emotional. But will hiding behind shoulder pads really help? And will his gridiron obsession prevent him from being there for his cousin's girlfriend when she needs him most?
This sequel to The Battle of Jericho is a no-holds-barred look at what happens when life doesn't go as planned, by the acclaimed author of the 2007 Coretta Scott King Award winner Copper Sun.
Gr 8 Up In The Battle of Jericho (S & S, 2003), Josh died as a result of a hazing ritual. Now, his girlfriend and his cousin Jericho are dealing with his sudden death. For November, it also means facing the consequences of having had sex with Josh the night before he died and learning that she is pregnant. Draper gives an accurate and sympathetic portrayal of urban teens at a crossroad. There are no false notes in these strong male and female characters. Readers will care about them and appreciate the straightforward way that the author presents the issues they face, from the everyday struggles of cafeteria confrontations to the dire situation of teenage pregnancy. Draper clearly shows, through November, the pros and cons of having a baby while still in school; the loss of freedom and a changing future; and, finally, acceptance and a deep love for a child. Another strong element of the story is the supportive adults who surround the teens. While still in the background, the parents and teachers can be counted on when they are needed. There are no easy answers and there's no pat ending; what comes through is that life plans can change in an instant and it is how we react to these changes that makes us who we are and who we become. Urban teens often ask, "Where are the books about us, Miss?" and with this novel Draper has once again given them something meaty and meaningful to read.-Anne Rouyer, New York Public Library
Read an Excerpt
TUESDAY, MARCH 30
November Nelson lurched to the bathroom, feeling faint and not quite in control of her suddenly unsteady legs. She touched her forehead and found it warm and glazed with sweat. Sinking down on the soft blue rug in front of the toilet, she was grateful for the momentary stability of the floor. But her head continued to spin, and her stomach churned. She lifted the toilet lid, gazed into the water, and wished she could disappear into its depths. Her breath became more shallow, and her nausea more intense. Finally, uncontrollably, and forcefully, all her distress erupted and she lost her lunch in heaves and waves of vomiting. Pepperoni pizza.
She flushed the toilet several times as she sat on the floor waiting to feel normal again. Finally she stood up shakily, gargled with peppermint mouthwash, and peered at herself in the mirror.
"You look like a hot mess," she whispered to her reflection. Her skin, instead of its usual coppery brown, looked gray and mottled. She hadn't combed her hair all day, so it was a halo of tangles.
November knew her mother would be home soon and would be angry to find out she'd skipped school. She didn't care. Her thoughts were focused on the package in her backpack. Even though she knew the house was empty, she made sure the bathroom door was locked. She dug the little purple and pink box out of her book bag and placed it on the sink. It seemed out of place in her mother's perfectly coordinated powder blue bathroom.
With trembling hands she unwrapped the plastic and opened the box. She read the directions carefully. She looked out of the small bathroom window and watched the last of the early spring snow melting on the grass. Everything looked the same, but she knew in her heart that it was all different now.
November finally turned back to the little white tube in the box and followed the instructions, which were written, she noticed, in Spanish and French as well. Three minutes later the indicator silently screamed the news that she already suspected. She was pregnant.
Copyright © 2007 by Sharon M. Draper
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >