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After Paperback – December 2, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Speak (December 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142415901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142415900
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—Through flashbacks, listeners learn that 15-year-old Devon has been a good student and an outstanding soccer player, and her life is all about control and not messing up. But as the story (Viking, 2009) by Amy Efaw opens, Devon is found by the police lying on her family sofa, bloody after giving birth to a baby which was found in the dumpster by a passerby. The story moves through Devon's arrest, her confusion about what is happening to her, and the preliminary court proceedings to determine whether she will be tried as an adult for attempted murder or in juvenile court. Rebecca Soler does a fine job of varying her voice to reflect Devon's various states of consciousness and conscience. Most prominent is the flatness of Devon's voice as she responds to the demands and interactions of those around her, such as her lawyer, who loses patience at Devon's resistance to assist in her defense. Soler also captures the teen's softness as Devon recollects the romantic encounter that led to her pregnancy and then quickly switches to a harsher tone as Devon reflects that she doesn't want to be like her own irresponsible mother. This is an emotional, compelling listen, as the details of the birth are told in great detail and Devon often seems like an observer rather than a participant.—Edith Ching, Washington Latin Public Charter School, DC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

-Efaw captures Devon+s mortification, denial, and despair, shifting fluidly between her present experiences in a juvenile jail and the terrifying night a baby inexplicably arrived.+ -Kirkus Reviews


More About the Author

Amy Efaw is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the mother of five children, and self-described "soccer mom extraordinaire." A former Army officer and freelance journalist, Amy now lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, children, redbone coonhound, and Bengal cat. She's written two novels for young adults and plans on writing many more!

Customer Reviews

When I first heard about After and what it was about, I just knew I had to read this book.
Casey "A Passion for Books"
It was very well written - the characters were real and had a uniqueness to them (I especially liked Karma from the detention center).
ed west
The author does a great job of tackling this controversial topic in a sensitive yet honest way.
Darcy Wishard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Briggs on November 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amy Efaw's book After is thought provoking tale of innocent teenage sex spiraling into a tragedy with a complicated outcome. Devon Davenport is a teenager "on track" to being a sucessful adult. She has managed to self motivate and excel at sports and school despite absent parents. Her life is going well until she makes a stupid decision and has unprotected sex.
Despite her obvious pregnancy symptoms, Devon retreats into an unimaginable denial and avoids the reality of her pregnancy. Devon denies being pregnant until she gives birth in her apartment bathroom and, in a hazy moment of horror and panic, throws her newborn in a dumpster.
Instead of expounding on the horror of the topic, Efaw carefully explores the psychological aspects that lead up to the event. She allows the reader to make their own decision about Devon as a human being. Surprisingly, it is hard not to feel compassionate for Devon even though she has committed such a despicable act.
Efaw expertly walks the reader through the legal and moral ramifications of Devons actions. As Devon is subjected to the harsh reality of the juvenile court system and the possibility of life imprisonment, the reader is able to watch her come to terms with her actions and beliefs. After is well written and captivating. I would recommend this to young adults and parents of young adults.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Darcy Wishard on August 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .

Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made--Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there's only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.

We've all heard the story before, or something similar; a child left to die in a dumpster, a child left in a public bathroom...news stories that shock us, leaving us to wonder what the world has come to.

What we don't usually hear about is the story of the would-be mother, the girl who left the baby behind. We all have our own ideas, based on our own experiences about who this ruthless woman could be and what would motivate her to commit such a heinous act. What do you think?

Once you've read this book I'm betting you might just change your mind. As an educated mother of two teenage daughters, I even surprised myself at some of the preconceived notions I had about these desperate girls.

The author does a great job of tackling this controversial topic in a sensitive yet honest way. This book will definitely resonate with teen girls who, for the most part, can only imagine the horror of finding themselves in a similar situation.

Believe it or not the books main character Devon, is very easy to relate to. She deals with issues that a multitude of teens face and like many, she has no real support system. My heart broke for Devon in her many struggles as she faces the repercussions of her actions...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on August 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Devon Davenport is the perfect student, teammate, and daughter. Responsible, talented, and hard-working, she has a bright future ahead of her, and is determined to not be like her mother, who gave birth to her at age sixteen. Because of these reasons, it's unbelievably hard for her family and friends to accept that she was pregnant, and didn't even know it, and that when she gave birth, she left her baby in the trash to die. But Devon did...and now the question is, is she guilty of attempted murder?

After is a heartbreaking novel that is simultaneously hard to read and intensely compelling. The book starts out briskly and suddenly, offering an unflinching look at Devon's situation and mental state as she is discovered, and then shuffled through the legal system, is assigned a lawyer, experiences juvenile hall, and is forced to appear in court. Accompanying her is a wide array of conflicting and complicated emotions, from shock to fear to indignation as Devon is forced to face the facts by her pushy and passionate lawyer, a believer in "tough love". Efaw's writing is detailed and precise, and her prose haunting and throughout Devon's tumultuous journey, she carefully reveals to readers Devon's past and the situations that led to her deeply ingrained denial, until readers can't help but feel deep sympathy for her, even as they face their own doubts and question Devon's behavior. Skillfully written and highly affecting, After is an emotional rollercoaster of a novel that explores the complexity of human nature and is sure to leave a mark on readers.

Cover Comments: I like this cover, it is simple yet striking, and it also very subtle--I was halfway through the novel before I realized the difference in the reflection. I think it is very fitting for the topic--carefuly neautral, but eye catching as well.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ed west on November 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I kept hearing about this book from being nominated for young adult literary reading awards (such as the School Library Journal) and also I read several reviews on book review blogs, as well as hearing the author's interview on PBS. I am glad I bought it because I was really fascinated reading this book, the writing was captivating and I could not put it down. It was very well written - the characters were real and had a uniqueness to them (I especially liked Karma from the detention center). There are enough summaries of the plot in other reviews and book description so I won't repeat it here. I really learned a lot about the psychology of teenage girls and how they could leave their baby in a dumpster.

I was surprised (and a bit amused) by some of the overly negative, sarcastic, and simplistic reviews of this book, because of the great reviews it got and because I really enjoyed it. It is very well researched and written. Teen pregnancy is a complex issue which is so closely linked with abortion, which many feel passionate about either for or against. I guess one can be vulnerable to criticism when one puts him or herself out there by touching upon a controversial topic. I wonder if some of the other reviewers are overly negative because of a perceived endorsement by the author of one view of abortion. I appreciated that the book and author didn't go "there" - into the politics of abortion.

In any case, I highly recommend this book.
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