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Teen Angel

Teen Angel

4.5 4
by Gloria L. Velasquez

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Editorial Reviews

The author's Roosevelt High series (Juanita Fights the School Board, Tommy Stands Alone, etc.) turns to the issue of unwanted teenage pregnancy and explores how a 15-year-old Latina, her family, and her friends cope with it. Like other books in this series, the plot is topically driven, with realistic but simplified characters who speak, as does the narrator, colloquially. Although the story doesn't rely on reader familiarity with others in the series for the most part, Martinez, a counselor whose miscarriage and resulting depression parallel teenaged Celia's discovery of her pregnancy and the attendant crises that raises, has an already established but unexplained relationship with not only Celia and her family but with all her friends as well. While Celia's problems, and how they affect others in her life, are clearly presented, the approach here is uncomplicated and linear: girl is used by young man, girl keeps her pregnancy a secret, girl is shunned by father when secret is discovered, girl is restored to family through the intercession of an understanding counselor who also gets girl into an idealized program for pregnant high school students. High school students themselves will not find Celia's story very engaging, although their younger sisters could. On the other hand, Martinez's story needs a mature audience to appreciate her psychological misery and the effect of the miscarriage on her marital relationship. Perhaps the best audience for this book would be adults learning to read English who have advanced beyond basic literacy but who need a simple storyline to follow through a text and concerns that invite discussion. (Roosevelt High). KLIATT Codes: J-Recommended forjunior high school students. 2003, Arte Publico Press, Univ of Houston, 153p., Ages 12 to 15.
— Francisca Goldsmith
When fifteen-year-old Celia Chávez sneaks out to meet her best friend Cassie's cousin Nicky for her first-ever date, she falls in love and cannot wait to go out with him again. On their second date, they have sex and she becomes pregnant. By the time Celia has to face the reality of her situation, Nicky has moved on to another girl and has returned to his Chicago home. Celia tells her sister, Juanita, and Cassie sends a letter to Nicky. Juanita tells their mother who then tells their father who orders Celia out of the house. Celia attends school while staying with her older brother in his apartment until she receives a mean letter from Nicky, who denies that the baby is his and calls her a whore. When word gets out about her predicament, Celia leaves school, vowing not to return. Counselor Sandra Martinez, who has just suffered a miscarriage, helps Celia gain admittance to an alternative school for teen mothers. Mr. Chávez relents, allows Celia to return home, and even praises her decision to continue her education. Ms. Martinez and her husband, Frank, will be godparents to the baby. In this sixth title of the Roosevelt High series, the characters and situation are true to life. Although Celia is Latina, her situation transcends cultural borders. This book would be an excellent choice for classroom discussions and for reading groups. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Arte Público, 154p., Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18.
—Sherry York
Children's Literature
This story is told from the viewpoints of two characters: The first, Celia Chavez, is a teenager who discovers she is pregnant. The father is Nicky, a visiting cousin of her best friend. She quickly learns that she must make choices to direct her life to avoid a future as a high-school dropout and fast food restaurant employee. The second character, Dr. Sandra Martinez, is a counselor who, although recovering from a miscarriage, supports Celia as she deals with a disapproving father, finds a new school, and contemplates life as a teen parent. The positive aspect of this novel is that it addresses a serious issue facing young adults with honesty and information. In addition, the multiracial characters realistically address various social and cultural issues. Unfortunately, the characters often come across as two-dimensional, and the story feels "teacherly," as if intending to educate teens didactically, rather than engaging them through the characters themselves. Also, because this book is part of the larger "Roosevelt High School" series, it seems to be filled with too many characters whose histories are unknown without reading the other books. Still, it provides a realistic portrayal of a serious issue. 2003, Pinata Books/Arte Publico Press, Ages 12 up.
— Barbara Allen Burke
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-In this sixth book in the series, 15-year-old Celia falls for Nicky, the older cousin of her friend Cassie. After she experiences her first kiss and loses her virginity, Nicky chooses to ignore her and soon leaves for his home in Chicago. After a climactic chapter in which Celia discovers she is pregnant, the narrative abruptly switches to that of Sandra Martinez, the local psychologist who also discovers that she is pregnant. The two characters come together when Dr. Martinez has a miscarriage and must find the strength to help Celia make decisions about the future with her child. The attempt to portray positive social events in Hispanic culture is laudable, but the message is lost as the author bends to stereotypes. The transition between points of view is awkward and leads to moments of confusion. The book's redeeming value is that the ending provides no easy answers for Celia. Best suited for fans of the previous books.-Linda L. Plevak, Saint Mary's Hall, San Antonio, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Arte Publico Press
Publication date:
The Roosevelt High School Ser.
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

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Teen Angel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i think celia is an idiot 4 tursting him. But i understand why. When i got this book i couldnt put it down at all:)! i finshed it in 3 hours. I let my friend borrow it and the next day she told me,"I really liked it.But i got grossed out in a few parts.And i think celia is vunerable and stupid for not using any protection." and i relly agree with her. What i like about Gloria in this that she understands and what a real teenage girl when impreganated. I love this book because of the drama reality and thrilling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an extreamely good book. The main charecter, Celia Chavez got into trouble when she became pregnant by her best friends cousin, Nicky, who was in town for a while so that the trouble and problems he had caused in his hometown could die down. When Nicky leaves town, and Celia discovers she is pregnant, she is devistated and has no idea what she should do. When it gets out to everyone that Celia is pregnant, her world is turned upside down However, that is nothing compared to what happens when her father finds out! This book takes you through the ups and downs and looptie-loops of Celia's emotional rollercoaster. I wish the author would have gone farther, and told us about Celia having the baby, what gender it was, what she named it etc. But I still loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i really loved this book i think Celia was an idiot for letting him do that when Cassie said that Nicky was bad news you shouldn't trust someone right away when they say they love you cause yo u never know
Guest More than 1 year ago
MY book is about a young Hispanic girl named Celia who wants to be noticed. Celia goes to see Cassie her best friend and saw a boy sitting on her front porch who was Cassie older cousin, Nicky who is visiting from Chicago. Right there she knew she liked him. That night as she lay in her bed she thought about him a lot. The next morning Cassie comes over with some news that Nicky wanted to talk to her. So that night Celia lies to her parents in order to hang out with Nicky. Nicky pulled up in a car and took Celia to the beach. Nicky told Celia that he loved her and she believed him and they had sex. After that Nicky didn¿t talk to her again. Did you like the book, would you recommend it to someone?