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I'm Late: The Story of Laneese & Moonlight and Alisha Who Didn't Have Anyone of Her Own Hardcover – January 1, 2006
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Grade 7 Up–Evans deals with themes of teen pregnancy, popularity, loneliness, child abuse, and making choices. LaNeese, 14, becomes pregnant, and star athlete Moonlight, 15, denies that he is the child's father. He has his dreams set on professional sports and cannot have family responsibilities hold him back. (No woman just in ninth grade whining 'pregnant' like they all do was going to mess up his life.) With no parenting skills, LaNeese uses harsh physical punishment, resulting in the death of her son when he is 18 months old. Her friend Alisha, an overweight girl who feels unloved, lets boys do as they wish with her and also becomes pregnant. She wants a baby so she will have someone with whom she can share love. She goes into premature labor, and the infant does not survive due to low birth weight and lack of prenatal care. Evans effectively uses lots of dialogue to tell the interweaving stories of these African-American teens. Contemporary line drawings complement the text beautifully. The characters initially make bad choices, but later make better ones. A postscript tells what happened to them later and includes questions for discussion about their behavior, making this an excellent selection for health education classes. I'm Late is just right for its target audience, carefully mixing multiple adolescent themes and suggesting alternate pathways.–Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
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