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The First Part Last (2003)

by Angela Johnson

Series: The Heaven Trilogy (2)

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1,6001318,306 (4.02)46
Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.
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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
Johnson does an excellent job with the story of a teen father struggling to raise his baby. It is a realistic portrayal and gives just as much credence to his joy as his fear and confusion. I loved that this book showed teen pregnancy for what it is - tough, scary, tiring, but full of love as well. It was honest, unlike some current portrayals on tv. I also really liked the storytelling motif of switching to the past every other chapter in order to tell Bobby and Nia's story from the moment she becomes pregnant. It works as a balance to Bobby raising the baby and builds some tension in order to see how he gets to that point. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
Okay, so maybe I've been reading a lot of YA lit lately, but I LOVED this. Booktalking it for a class, and am so glad it was recommended to me. ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
This is the story of a sixteen-year-old father, Bobby, and his newborn baby girl. The 10-month-long story unfolds from both ends in alternating chapters of "then" and "now," as Bobby begins to find his way as a single dad.

There are so many things that I like about this book. It doesn't shy away from the complexities of the situation and characters. Everyone is conflicted. I love that these urban teens (and their families) are basically good people, and that, despite the storyline, it's really not a cautionary tale. And I love Bobby: his earnest struggle to do what he knows is right, even when it's really hard.

I found the nonlinear narrative to be really effective. When I finished reading, I wanted to immediately begin again, to see how my knowledge of the rest of the story might influence my reading. I suspect that this story will continue to offer new information with repeated readings, which is always a good sign. ( )
  amandabock | Dec 10, 2019 |
Bobby is a 16-yera-old kid in Brooklyn when he gets his girlfriend pregnant. Chapters alternate between those titled "Now," in which Bobby tells about the struggle of being a father to a baby when he's still a kid himself; and chapters titled "Then," in which he tells about what happened during the pregnancy.
The book is a tie-in with "Heaven," which is set a few years later, and Bobby is a secondary character. ( )
  fingerpost | Nov 2, 2019 |
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Epigraph
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For Elizabeth Acevedo and the rest of the students in the 1999-2000 sixth-grade class at the Manhattan School for Children
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My mom says that I didn't sleep through the night until I was eight years old.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.

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