book review: Baby Girl

Baby Girl by Lenora Adams

Simon Pulse, 2007

Main character:  Sheree

I almost missed this book.  But, I’ve come to learn that no matter how well you think you know what’s out there for teens of color, you have to take the time to look through every shelf, website and library to find out what’s new.  I keep thinking that there must be one source, one site I’m missing out there to find these books, but no!  I guess this is it! 

Anyway, about the book!

 This is Ms. Adams first book.  While she is currently a stay at home mom, she was at one time a worker in a halfway house as describe in this book.

I read Baby Girl wondering if the young ladies caught up in life, with parents who couldn’t or wouldn’t provide a strong foundation for them, would find this book and if they could hear the message?  Baby Girl isn’t preachy.  It provides an honest look into the life of a young girl who has grown up with a mother as a friend and little time to be a child.  Sheree tells most of the story in the form of a letter to her mother.  A surprising twist is added when Sheree’s mother respond’s by writing a letter of her own.  The book ends in a letter from Sheree to her son.

Sheree’s hard life is described in a manner which is open and frank.  She’s practically had to raise herself, so we observe as she makes decisions and experiences the consequences.  Sheree has a very close friend who seems to have a very different life from her, but we eventually come to realize the deep seated issues the two girls have in common.  Young readers with similar issues will find a little guidance in the book and a whole lot of hope.

 themes:  resilliance; parenting; relationships; abuse (emotional; chemical); support

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