Perfect Family

Perfect Family

4.5 10
by Jerrie Oughton
     
 

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Welcome Marie O'Neal is finally starting to enjoy her 15th year and can't wait to turn 16. She meets Nicholas Canton and, though her parents don't approve, the two start dating. Soon Welcome is head over heels in love and she can't believe it won't last forever. But the romance ends with the summer and when things fall apart, Welcome finds herself confused,

Overview

Welcome Marie O'Neal is finally starting to enjoy her 15th year and can't wait to turn 16. She meets Nicholas Canton and, though her parents don't approve, the two start dating. Soon Welcome is head over heels in love and she can't believe it won't last forever. But the romance ends with the summer and when things fall apart, Welcome finds herself confused, heartbroken, and...in trouble. There aren't many people Welcome can turn to for help or advice in her small Southern town in 1955, especially not in her "perfect" family. The decisions Welcome has to make will change her life forever.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A throwback to the gritty "problem novels" of the '80s, this youngadult work is actually set in the mid1950s. Its protagonist, fifteenyearold Welcome Marie O'Neal, is a smalltown girl from North Carolina who falls for an older boy and winds up "in trouble," as they used to say back then. Her character is wonderfully drawn; Welcome wants more than girls were allowed to want in those days, but despite the constraints of time and place, she learns and grows in a realistic way when she is forced to make some hard choices. Oughton's strong storytelling skills call to mind the writing of southern novelist Reynolds Price—another author who knows that life is full of painful tradeoffs, but that our pain also reminds us that we are truly alive. 2000, Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 13 up, $15.00. Reviewer: Donna Freedman
VOYA
Fifteenyear-old Welcome lives in a small town in North Carolina during the 1950s. Welcome, who dreams of becoming a doctor someday, is just leaving her awkward stage behind. She meets Nicholas Canton, finds herself attracted to him, and clashes with her parents over whether she can see him. Although Nicholas turns out to be a cad, Welcome cannot get over him. When she goes out with the wholesome Randy Newsome, thinking constantly of Nicholas, she has sex with Randyonceand becomes pregnant. After almost going through with a backalley abortion, Welcome decides to have the baby. She leaves town for Virginia to move in with her aunt and uncle who have no children. Ultimately she leaves the baby with them and goes on to follow her dream. Although the ending is predictably neat, Welcome's story is realistic and well written. Her character is engaging, and the supporting characters are well developed. Welcome's parents are understandably dismayed at her predicament, but they do not turn into caricatures. There are enjoyable scenes such as when Welcome becomes friends with Hattie, a black woman she meets on the bus ride to Virginia. A subplot, in which her older sister runs off to California to find James Dean, rings true. This title belongs in most high school and public libraries where older teens will enjoy the accurate portrayal of smalltown life and Welcome's determination. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 13 to 18, 208p, $15. Reviewer: Alice F. Stern
Kirkus Reviews
It's 1955 in the town of Lily, North Carolina. Unwed teen mothers are shuttled off to far away cities; girls are going crazy over James Dean; and "porch setting" is a viable pastime. The illusion of a perfect family is shattered in the O'Neal household when 15-year-old Welcome falls in love with handsome Nicholas Canton, a Northerner unfamiliar with the Southern lifestyle, and her older sister, Evelyn Sue, runs away to California to find her romantic hero, James Dean. Welcome hurries to lose her virginity to a close friend, Randy Newsome, after attending a square dance with Nicholas, who becomes inebriated and flirts with wild girls. Pregnant at 15, Welcome has no other choice than to be shipped off to her Aunt Lacey and Uncle Mac's home in Virginia Beach. On the bus ride and in their home, she learns the real meaning of love, giving up the son she's named Adam to her Aunt and Uncle to raise while she returns to Lily to complete her high school education and attend medical school. The unbending, hard-line values of the '50s and Southern setting are clearly portrayed in this novel about making poor choices, owning up to the consequences, and having the fortitude to set the record straight. (Fiction. 12-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780544003026
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/29/2012
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,125,230
File size:
371 KB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Jerrie Oughton has written several novels for young adults. Her first, Music From a Place Called Half Moon. was awarded the Bank Street College Children's Book Award. She lives with her husband in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Perfect Family 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Kellykos More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this book yet, but I can't believe all the thoughtless people who give away the ending! They tell the people reading the reviews exactly what the girl does with the baby. Wow, way to ruin a book, thanks. B&N needs to READ THE REVIEWS for spoilers!!
britt_916 More than 1 year ago
It was a very good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful! I finished this book less than a week! If you havent read this book, you need to! I think Welcome made a good decision of letting her aunt and uncle have her baby and she still can have a part in Adams life at the same time. My Sister gave her baby to my other sister, so i have a situation just like this with my two sisters. I loved this book a lot! I havent read a good book like this in a long time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful, and I couldn't put it down! The one problem with it though, was that it didn't have a very good ending. It left me hanging. Oh, and another thing. Shouldn't Welcome have told Randy that he had a son? Just wondering because if I were the parent of a child, I'd want to know, even if I didn't have a role in that child's life, since Welcome left Adam with her Lacey and Mac.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i thought the book was wonderful and inspirational. i've read it like five times and it never gets old. welcome is a great character and the way that she explains through the book is powerful. i thought the beginning was great, and the ending was even better. this book is A MUST READ!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really good! I couldnt put it down at all. I have never had a good book like this in a very long time and I couldnt believe that I would actually read it because I dont like reading at all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic!!!!!!I read it in like 2 days!I could not put it down.I was not expecting what happened!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was outstanding,at first it was okay and then just got better and better every time that I read it. Jerrie Oughton keep writing your books are great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You better have the hankie handy. Your are going to need several. Ms. Oughton really hits the nail with this book. I can't believe it is fiction. I also will be getting her other titles pdq.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿I noticed his ears cupped out a little. Just enough so he wasn¿t drop-dead-in-your-tracks handsome.¿ Welcome Marie O¿Neal just broke out of her awkward teenage body into a lovely young lady. The new boy in town, Nicholas Canton, is all she can think about. When her sister runs off to California to find James Dean, Welcome opens herself to Nicholas, maybe too much. When she pretends Randy Newsome is Nicholas that one night in the car, Welcome ends up with more then she knows what to do with. What happens to her dreams of being a doctor? Will she ever have a better relationship with her father? Will she ever be as good as her older brother? What will she do with Adam? Read Perfect Family by Jerrie Oughton to find out what happens with Welcome¿s life. Britt C.