Posts Tagged 'stereotypes'

The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris

Genre: Realistic Fiction and 327 pages

Alex Rufus has had the ability to see into the future ever since his parents died. Every time he touches any item or person he sees what will happen to that person or thing in the near or distant future. For example, he knows the ice cream shop he works at will one day be owned by someone else because he can see it when he touches the ice cream scoop at work. He learned long ago that there is no changing the future he sees, no matter what he does, so he tries to avoid touching anything he doesn’t want to know the future to. Having this ability has made him more closed off with his girlfriend and his brother, Isaiah, but he doesn’t know how to change it since so much of his time is spent dealing with the many visions he sees. Then, one day he sees a vision of himself at Isaiah’s funeral in the not so distant future and he knows he needs to act fast. He needs to reconnect with Isaiah and see if there is any way to change this terrible vision he sees. Is there a way to save Isaiah? Is there a way to ever rid himself of this terrible condition so he can truly just enjoy life as it comes at him? Will the community he lives ever see him as anything but a young, black man?

This story really paints of picture of not only how terrible having the ability to see the future would be, but also how difficult growing up black in America can truly be (even in affluent neighborhoods). Alex struggles to communicate with those around him because he fears no one will be able to understand what he is going through, but along the way they show him that they are there for him no matter what. He also learns that by not sharing his thoughts and feelings with others he has also been missing out on what is going on with them. He and his brother have drifted since their parents’ untimely death and while he understands how it happened he also realizes how precious life really is. The ending is satisfying, but does give the reader a lot to think about long after the book is over. Recommended.

The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez

Genre:  Nonfiction

# of Pages:  215

RAC Book:  Yes

Gaby Rodriguez comes from a family with many teen pregnancies.  Her mother and all of her older sisters were teen moms and so far none of her siblings have made it into their early twenties without becoming parents.  Because of her family history, Gaby has been told her entire life that she will become another teen pregnancy statistic.  She works really hard in school and hopes to be a social worker one day.  For her senior project she decides to fake a pregnancy and then monitor all the comments, treatment, etc. that she receives due to everyone believing she is yet another pregnant teen in her small town.  She tells as few people as she can, even her boyfriend’s parents don’t know she’s not really pregnant.  Despite her choice to pursue this project throughout most of her senior year, she is surprised and hurt by some of the comments directed toward her.  By the end of the project she has many observations and revelations concerning how our society treats pregnant teens and how that treatment then affects their behavior.

This book asks you to think about the various ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural stereotypes surrounding teen pregnancy.  It is crazy to imagine a teen undergoing this project for months without getting fed up and just admitting the truth.  Her experience will resonate with many young girls, especially ones who have had obstacles in their young lives and have faced unwanted opinions because of it.  This is a very interesting read, but might be a difficult sell for teen boys.


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