Bobby and his girlfriend Nia are in love and happy, until Nia discovers she is pregnant. Told in alternating chapters between “Now,” Bobby struggles to take care of his newborn daughter without the presence of Nia, and “Then,” Bobby and Nia struggle together to determine what will be best–keep the baby or put her up for adoption. It’s the “first part” of the story that is kept until the very end when we fully understand the situation Bobby finds himself in and the greatest struggle of all.
Johnson, A. (2003). The first part last. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
JOHNSON, Angela. The First Part Last.
144p. CIP. S & S. 2003. RTE $15.95.
ISBN 0-689-84922-2. LC 2002036512.
The First Part Last (Book) [Review of the book The first part last]. (2004). School Library Journal, 5064.
First Part Last is such a gentle book, with a deeply sensitive narrator. Reluctant readers will enjoy the short, engaging chapters and the realistic setting and situations. Many will also find familiarity with Bobby’s struggle to be a single, teenage father and the heart-breaking loss he keeps tucked away.
Paired alongside Flake’s You Don’t Even Know Me, this title could be part of a book talk that targets adolescent boys, particularly those who seem to hide a lot behind the “tough guy” facade.