Posts Tagged 'baby'

After by Amy Efaw


Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages:  350

RAC:  Yes

Devon is lying on the couch when her mom gets home from her evening shift at the local supermarket.  She is unresponsive and drifting in and out of consciousness and her mother assumes she is staying home sick.  When police officers come to the door to inquire about a newborn baby that was found in a nearby trashcan her mother tells them that she just got home, but that maybe her daughter saw something.  At this point it is revealed that Devon had recently given birth and no one around her even knew she was pregnant.  She is arrested for attempted murder and taken to the hospital.  Once she is mildly recovered she is sent to jail where she is working with a lawyer to fight to stay in the juvenile court system as opposed to being tried as an adult.  Devon feels ashamed and confused and does not want anyone to know what has happened.  Did she really try to kill her baby?  Had she really convinced herself that she was not pregnant or is that just what her story is?  Why didn’t she reach out to the many people around her who could have helped her instead of pushing all of them away?

Everyone has heard a story about a young girl who gives birth without anyone knowing about it and tries to “get rid of” the evidence.  This book tries look at this situation through the eyes of the young girl.  What was she feeling?  Did she realize what she was doing?  After the event has occurred, the reader follows as Devon comes to terms with her decision and tries to decide how she thinks she should be punished.  The characters are interesting and well developed and the details of the story are revealed in an interesting manner.  The final outcome feels right and satisfactory for a topic as serious as this.  It will be a hit with high school girls.

Little Face by Sophie Hannah

Genre: Suspense, Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of pages: 310 p.

RAC Book: Yes

The story begins when Alice who has just left her two week old baby for the first time ventures out for two hours and comes home to find she does not know the baby in the crib. She believes that someone has come into her mother-in-law’s house, where her and her husband live, and snatched her baby only to replace it with another newborn. Her husband becomes angry with her as she refuses to accept that this is her baby and insists on calling the police. The police have a difficult time deciding how to proceed since no babies have been reported missing and there is a baby present at the house.

The story alternates between Alice and one of the police detectives. He is generally accepted to be a really good detective and feels that this case is not as innocent as it first appears. He does not know if he believes Alice about someone switching the babies, but believes something is amiss. His colleagues all believe Alice is crazy and suffering from depression and psychosis from her difficult delivery.

The mystery was intriguing all the way up until everything is explained.  The resolution is not as good as one would hope after such an intriguing mystery has been set up.  There are moments where Alice’s husband shows tortuous feelings toward her for casting doubt on their family. It is never fully explained why she allows him to do this to her. The ending is satisfying, but unbelievable. The details provided weave together to form a good pace and some surprises as details are revealed, but again the motivations of the characters in their actions is not always fully explained. Readers who enjoy mystery and suspense will enjoy this, but anyone who has difficulty with people undergoing very degrading and difficult situations will find it troubling.