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Pregnant Pause Hardcover – September 20, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Nolan presents a sensitive look at the difficulties of teen pregnancy. . .Drawing in both reluctant and avid readers, this novel is an uplifting page-turner with a great deal of heart."--School Library Journal, starred review

"Readers will love Eleanor's openness and admire her strength in dealing with hard choices and unexpected disasters."--Publishers Weekly  

"As revealed in her first-person narration, Elly is passionate, smart-mouthed, rebellious and completely endearing. Secondary characters are similarly well-crafted, refusing to fit into stereotypes. Readers may feel like laughing, crying and grinding their teeth in frustration, but they will always feel like they are in the experienced hands of a master storyteller."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review  

"National Book Award finalist Nolan has written a multilayered character study of Elly, a young woman angry at the adults in her life but enormously resourceful and capable of love. The issues she faces—teen pregnancy, immature boyfriends, bewildered and angry parents, whether to keep the baby, and even the problems of overweight campers—all have their origins in grief and control. How Elly plows through this complex morass both before and after the baby arrives makes for not only a strong story but a subtle object lesson as well."--Booklist  

"The combination of camp story and problem novel give the book high appeal, and the characters are complex and sympathetic, particularly Elly as she works through her issues and grapples believably with the forced onset of adulthood."-Bulletin

About the Author

Han Nolan is the author of the National Book Award-winning Dancing on the Edge, the National Book Award finalist Send Me Down a Miracle, and numerous other acclaimed novels for teen readers. She and her husband live on the East Coast.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152065709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152065706
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,501,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama. When I was 9 months old my family moved to New York where I spent most of my childhood and teen years. When I was a toddler, I had white blond hair that stood straight up on my head. My family called me "Hoot" back then because that and my big eyes made me look like an owl. I couldn't pronounce my first and middle names, which were Helen Harris, so I said "Hannah Hollis". My family shortened this to a variety of nicknames: Hahn, Han Holl, Han, Hannie, and Hannie Bucket, which my husband later shortened to Hannie B. The neighborhood kids also called me Hahn. It is now pronounced, Han, and it rhymes with man.

I was very active as a child--I loved to jump on beds, do somersaults, handstands and flips on and off of sofas, climb trees and do different tricks on the monkey bars at the playground. I also liked my own thoughts best. In kindergarten, I paid no attention to my teacher. She told my mother that she thought I had a hearing problem. My parents had my hearing tested. My ears were fine. When my mother told me what the teacher had said I replied that I heard my teacher all right, it's just that she kept interrupting all my good thoughts!

I've loved stories for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite memories is of my father telling me bedtime stories, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, B'rer Rabbit, and stories from the Bible such as my favorite, Joseph and his Coat of Many Colors. I loved to make up my own stories too. I didn't write them down until I was a little older, but I sure loved to make them up.

One of my favorites books as a child was "Harriet the Spy". I wanted to be a spy, so I started spying on my family, especially my older sister. It turned out I was a terrible spy because I kept getting caught, but I kept a spy notebook, just like Harriet. I quickly gave up on the spying, but writing thoughts and stories in a notebook has been a habit for me ever since.

When I was ten, I saw the movie "The Sound of Music" and I fell in love with it. Back then if you wanted to see a movie more than once you had to go to the theater. We didn't have videos. I only saw it once but I had the record album with all the music on it and I learned every word of it. I made up dances to go with it and gave a performance for my family. My brothers and sisters laughed at me. My parents and grandmother applauded and told me I was wonderful. For years after seeing that movie I would lie awake nights remembering the story of the Sound Of Music and making up my own stories to go with it. Lying awake nights making up stories instead of sleeping is a habit I still have, as my husband can tell you.

My elementary school years were tough--I hated school. I wanted to be at home with my mother. I used to feel sick to my stomach every morning and my mother would let me stay home sometimes. We moved to Kentucky when I was in the fifth grade. I stayed home a lot that year and I missed so much school I had to repeat the grade to make up all the work I had missed. After that I didn't get sick to my stomach anymore.

I didn't do well in school until the sixth grade. That's the year I was given my first creative writing assignment. I had been writing stories at home for years and of course keeping a journal filled with more stories and poems and all those important thoughts I had. My homeroom/English teacher was very impressed by my writing and this made me feel smart. I decided to do well in school after that, and I did. But what if that teacher hadn't encouraged me?

When I was 13, my mother enrolled me in dance class. At first I felt like a big oaf--all the other kids were younger, or had been taking dance lessons for years, so I was behind. But I loved it, and I began to work at it all the time: stretching so I could do splits and high kicks and dancing around the house to music. Two years later I was invited to join the special master classes for the best students. All that hard work had paid off.

I loved dance--I continued lessons into high school, and then went to college and graduate school as a dance major. I went to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as an undergraduate, and went to Ohio State for my Masters degree.

So how did I end up as a writer?

I got married after Grad school and I soon realized that my dancing took up too much of the wrong time. When my husband was at work I was at home, and when he was home I was dancing. I didn't like that at all, even though my husband took a beginning ballet class just so he could spend time with me. I left dance and I decided to return to my first love, writing. Soon after that we adopted three children and I knew for sure that staying home and writing instead of dancing was the best decision for me.

As an adult I still love to spend time with my family and friends, and I love to read, run, hike, bike, swim, go to plays and concerts, travel, and of course, write.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Thematically poignant, emotionally engaging, and entirely compelling, Pregnant Pause is one extraordinary contemporary novel.

In this extremely well-written book, Han Nolan tackles some truly difficult and relevant subjects, including teen pregnancy, substance abuse, infidelity and suicide - just to name a few. If you like books that are real, gritty and moving, you'll love this one. You will quickly become fascinated with the intensely gripping plot and Nolan's graceful and painfully authentic prose. This book is a winner, I couldn't have loved it more.

"OKAY, I'M PREGNANT, and so here's what I'm scared about. What if my kid turns out to be a mass murderer? You know, one of those kids who shoots half the school, then shoots himself? Or maybe a drug dealer, or really, just -- just what if my kid lies to me, or sneaks out a window to go see her boyfriend, or gets pregnant at sixteen like me? I'd hate to have me for a kid." (quote from the book)

Eleanor Crowe is sixteen and pregnant. At the time we meet her, she's five months into pregnancy, just married to her punk-o boyfriend, and about to move into her new home: a miserable one-room cabin in the woods. Eleanor does not come from a broken home, in fact her family is well-educated, caring and, well, decent. Her parents are missionaries, teaching kids in Kenia, and doing all sorts of charity work to make the world a better place. Her sister is a happily married, well-brought-up young lady. Eleanor was neither abused, nor neglected. She had a good childhood, in a loving home, with parents that maybe weren't exactly perfect, but were certainly far from horrible. Eleanor is just one of those difficult, rebellious and misguided kids. She thinks she knows better, but she doesn't, not really.
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Format: Hardcover
by Meredith

Pregnant Pause is the story of a sixteen-year-old, Eleanor (pregnant, of course), who is pushed by her parents into marrying the father of her child and living and working at his parents' summer camp for overweight children. The rebellious Eleanor then has to deal with a rocky relationship, pregnancy, being a teenager, being the daughter of missionaries, and being a role-model--all at the same time. Basically, it's a YA novel combining religion, multiple current social issues, and teenagers. What could go wrong?

Now, I happen to be a sixteen-year-old girl as well, and, though I'm not pregnant, I had a very hard time believing Eleanor's character. She changes so much that she barely even seems like a single character. And I'm not talking your normal coming-of-age, realizing-who-you-are type changes; I'm talking a total 180 of views and priorities, for no discernable reason.

Shaky characters aren't the novel's only sore spot. Unfortunately, the dialogue in Pregnant Pause falls flat as well. It sounds staged, wooden, and static, like the characters have memorized and then spit out the conversation, with the occasional negative adjective or metaphor thrown in. Every time I saw quotation marks, I cringed. No joke.

But this novel tackles some excellent and topical subject matter. I mean, love triangles, missionary parents with a pregnant daughter, childhood obesity, mashed cauliflower as a mashed-potato stand-in ... it's hard to find a more interesting blend of elements. The problem is, though, that the elements never really blend. They're just kind of thrown on top of one another and lie there looking confused or wander off into the distance, never to be seen again. That last scenario actually happens to one plot twist.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If I had to rate this book at page 200, I would have given it 2.5 stars. After finishing it, I have to give it 5 stars. When you start a book, you generally get a feel for if you are going to like a character or not. With Elly, from Han Nolan's Pregnant Pause, I thought I knew her for the first 200 pages. And I wasn't so sure I liked her. By the end of the book, I loved this girl. I am pretty sure you will too.

Elly is pregnant. Elly is 16. Elly is a mess. Her boyfriend Lam is a stoner, just like she was before she got pregnant. But now Elly is pregnant, so she doesn't do that stuff anymore. Unfortunately, her missionary parents and Lam's Fat Camp running parents aren't so thrilled with the fact that she wants to have the baby. They decide to make Lam and Elly get married and when her parents return to Kenya, Elly will move in with Lam to the camp his parents run. They have to lie about her age, of course, but at least they'll be together.

The problem is Elly knows nothing about camp, about kids, or about being a wife. She also doesn't like Lam so much now that she's sober. When a counselor gets sick, Elly has to take over her classes and her cabin. She is annoyed by one girl who clearly thinks she is the princess of the group and simply doesn't know what to do with Banner, a girl who seems like everyone's doormat and is too scared of doing something wrong to do anything. Elly gives in to her fears and just tries to get the girls to have some fun. She is constantly under the scrutiny of her in-laws and her husband has been mysteriously absent most nights. Elly knows her life isn't perfect, but there is something about her baby that keeps her going on.
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