The result of Coles's extensive interviews throughout the country, this work offers glimpses into the lives and minds of teenage parents. Coles, the respected psychiatrist, professor, and author, collaborated with his three sons, all doctors, to research teenage pregnancy. Their profiles of teens living under unique pressures are enhanced by two photographic essays. The resulting book is not a comprehensive study but a snapshot that will help readers understand the lifestyle, motivation, and daily lives of adolescents, both male and female, who are themselves parents. Recommended for public and academic libraries.?Kay L. Brodie, Chesapeake Coll. Lib., Wye Mills., Md.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Coles is a prolific, Pulitzer Prize^-winning author and a child psychiatrist renowned for his open-minded and compassionate approach to studying the inner lives of children and adolescents. His newest book is a striking and revelatory set of verbal and photographic portraits of teenage parents. Coles and his sons conducted long, intensive conversations with adolescent parents of diverse ethnicity and geographical location, and the direction, emotions, and content of these exchanges stunned Coles, who struggled not to "observe with dismay" but to learn from these frank and generous young people. As Coles brings young fathers and mothers vividly to life, the stark humanity of their perceptions and circumstances emerges with such power that all preconceived and oversimplified attitudes about teenage pregnancy and parenthood are called into question. Young men explain that fathering a child is expected and respected. A 15-year-old mother says she was "born into trouble" and wanted to keep her baby because "it's all she's got." Another young mother explains that through her daughter, she has a "second chance"; another declares that her "purpose in life" is to raise her son "so he'll be different than the men I've known." Discussions of parenthood evolve into musings on racism, welfare, school, religion, work, love, loyalty, and the meaning of life. Coles doesn't try to dispel the ambiguities inherent in these conversations, nor do the photographs of Jocelyn Lee and John Moses. Their evocative subjects hold our gaze, commanding respect and empathy even as they arouse deep concern. Donna SeamanSee all Editorial Reviews