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Baby Hardcover – September 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 173 pages
  • Publisher: Front Street Press (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590785029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590785027
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.3 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,499,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

"New Hampshire. Cow-freaking Hampshire." It's the last place 15-year-old Baby, abandoned by her alcoholic mother again, wants to be. But her social worker tells her that this stop, with an older couple that races sled dogs, is her last chance before she ends up in a juvie home. Baby, still feeling the pain of her new tatttoo (an Asian tiger on her right butt cheek), thinks she doesn't really care what happens to her; but Mary and Fred are not average foster parents, and their life with big dogs brings balance to Baby's own existence. Baby too easily becomes a dog-racing expert, and her descent into trouble when her boyfriend arrives is predictable. But the girl's first-person voice, the backdrop, and the details (working the streets in a gargoyle costume for tourist change) work together well to set this story apart from the many in which troubled teens find solace in animals. Dobrez, Cindy

Review

* "Foster care is nothing new to fifteen-year-old Baby, but she's startled by her new placement in rural New England with Fred and Mary Potter, a quiet older couple whose main passion is the raising and racing of sled dogs. Initially resistant Baby is soon a convert to the joys of running sled dogs, and she's particularly smitten with snow-white Laika, a young bitch. When Baby's boyfriend, Bobby, comes to finally spirit her away, she finds herself taking Laika, who is increasingly unwelcome and unhappy amid Baby's aimless and shadowy existence. Monninger takes a fairly standard foster-kid plot and revivifies it through his spare and finely honed style. Baby's voice has more than a touch of Hemingway to it, yet there's a taut contemporaneousness to the combination of Baby's alienated account and the interpolated stories of dogs, especially Laika's namesake; the symbolism of Baby's canine experience is quiet and unobtrusive, with events and stories operating effectively on the manifest level as well. The New Hampshire winter cold is also a constant presence, with the season a very different force in different situations; the descriptions of dog-sledding, the sheer joy of adrenaline in the frosty air, the blur of dogs in motion, and the heady thrill of pack participation are keenly observed. Readers may not be surprised that Baby finally grows sufficiently beyond Bobby's thrall to know what's good for her, but they'll find the trip warming beneath its crisp exterior." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review

More About the Author

Joseph Monninger has published fourteen novels and three non-fiction books. His work has appeared in American Heritage, Scientific American, Readers Digest, Glamour, Playboy, Story, Fiction, The Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated and Ellery Queen, among other publications. He has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and has also received a fellowship from the New Hampshire Council for the Arts. His young adult novel, Baby, was awarded the 2008 award for best children's literature from the Peace Corps Writers. It was also chosen as a top ten book by YALSA, the American Library Association. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's' Books awarded Hippie Chick, a young adult novel, a blue ribbon for a top book of 2008.

Joseph Monninger grew up in Westfield, New Jersey and attended Temple University on a football scholarship. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso, from 1975-77. He has been a licensed New Hampshire Fishing Guide and has fly-fished from New Zealand to Wyoming's Wind River Range. He lives with his wife, Wendy, and his son, Justin, in a converted barn near New Hampshire's Baker River. For several years his family competed in the New England Sled Dog sprint races and ran a small sled dog business in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

As a teacher at one time or another at the University of New Hampshire, the Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, The American International School in Vienna, and at Plymouth State University, Joseph Monninger has spent thirty years in classrooms. During the summers he directed academic enrichment programs at Williams and Amherst Colleges. He led student groups on bicycle tours across Europe, sailed the Whitsunday Islands near the Great Barrier Reef, and worked on community service projects in Montserrat, West Indies and on the Crow Reservation in Montana. He has taken a mail boat across the southern edge of Newfoundland and, as a young man, hitch-hiked across the United States three times.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on May 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's Baby's last chance with foster parents before she's shipped off to a juvenile detention center.

Baby may believe that meeting Bobby is the best thing that ever happened to her. But it happens when Baby's finally at a wonderful place in her life, and Bobby starts to take her away from it all.

Under Bobby's influence, Baby will do just about anything, even take her foster parents, Mary and Fred's, most prized possession -- a sled dog. Her life is spiraling out of control, and drug dealings and addictions eventually lead Bobby straight behind bars.

Baby is once again abandoned, this time with nothing but a pack of cigarettes to her name.

What path is Baby going to take? Her new life of safety, or a life of running and sleeping on the streets, using drugs?

BABY tells a great story of real life adventure. I recommend it to everyone, especially those who are interested in stories dealing with important "What if?" issues.

Reviewed by: Holly
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By BornReader on January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Baby" is simply splendid. She grabs your attention, then she grabs your emotions. State agencies, sled dogs, gargoyles and a girl very much on her own--a girl with the will and determination to make her own decisions no matter what. This story is one unique, wintry ride for both Baby and the reader. Enjoy!
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