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by Angela Johnson
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Literature & Fiction
  • Author:
    Angela Johnson
  • ISBN:
  • ISBN13:
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  • Publisher:
    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Pages:
    144 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Literature & Fiction
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    1430 kb
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    1366 kb
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    1960 kb
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Bobby, the teenage artist and single-parent dad in Johnson's Coretta Scott King Award winner, Heaven (1998), tells his story here

view Kindle eBook view Audible audiobook. Bobby, the teenage artist and single-parent dad in Johnson's Coretta Scott King Award winner, Heaven (1998), tells his story here. At 16, he's scared to be raising his baby, Feather, but he's totally devoted to caring for her, even as she keeps him up all night, and he knows that his college plans are on hold.

The Coretta Scott King Award is an annual award presented by the Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, part of the American Library Association (ALA). Named for Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, J. this award recognizes outstanding books for young adults and children by African Americans that reflect the African-American experience. Awards are given both to authors and to illustrators.

The First Part Last (Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner).

Coretta Scott King (née Scott; April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006) was an American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King Jr. An active advocate for African-American equality, she was a leader for the Civil Rights M. . An active advocate for African-American equality, she was a leader for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. King was also a singer who often incorporated music into her civil rights work. King met her husband while attending graduate school in Boston. They both became increasingly active in the American Civil Rights Movement.

2019 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement (Practitioner).

Coretta Scott King Award. Coretta Scott King Award. Awarded for. (Book Awards) the most distinguished portrayal of African American experience in literature for children or teens. The Coretta Scott King Award Seal was designed by artist Lev Mills in 1974; bronze for winning books and pewter for honor books. There has since been a revision of the seal; a bronze and black seal for winners, pewter and black for honors  .

Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrator (2019). Claire Hartfield (Goodreads Author). Coretta Scott King Award for Author (2019).

The Coretta Scott King Award is an annual award presented by the Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange . First Part Last,The !The First Part Last. "Coretta Scott King Book Award Recipients: Current and Past". American Library Association. this award recognizes outstanding African American authors and illustrators, and is awarded for books about the African American experience, that are written for a youth audience (high school or below).

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The Coretta Scott King Book Award was founded in 1969 to honour the .

The Coretta Scott King Book Award was founded in 1969 to honour the life and work of Martin Luther King, J. and his wife, Coretta Scott King. Initially, only an annual award was presented, with the first recipient being Lillie Patterson in 1970 for Martin Luther King, J. Man of Peace (1969). The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, covering an author’s or illustrator’s entire body of children’s work, was inaugurated in 2010 in honour of King and children’s book author Virginia Hamilton. The first recipient was Walter Dean Myers.

This little thing with the perfect face and hands doing nothing but counting on me. And me wanting nothing else but to run crying into my own mom's room and have her do the whole thing. It's not going to happen.... Bobby is your classic urban teenaged boy -- impulsive, eager, restless. On his sixteenth birthday he gets some news from his girlfriend, Nia, that changes his life forever. She's pregnant. Bobby's going to be a father. Suddenly things like school and house parties and hanging with friends no longer seem important as they're replaced by visits to Nia's obstetrician and a social worker who says that the only way for Nia and Bobby to lead a normal life is to put their baby up for adoption. With powerful language and keen insight, Johnson looks at the male side of teen pregnancy as she delves into one young man's struggle to figure out what "the right thing" is and then to do it. No matter what the cost.

Bobby is raising his baby, Feather.
Teenagers Nia and Bobby are going to be parents.
The chapters of this book don't follow the typical sequential order. Throughout the novel sixteen year old Bobby tells what's going on in his life 'now', and what happened 'then'. The story jumps from present to past, letting the reader know how things are for Bobby as a teen parent as well as how his life was during his girlfriend, Nia's, pregnancy. He fathers a child and, taking responsibility for his actions, he chooses to raise his daughter(without a whole lot of help from his parents)instead of giving her up for adoption.
The author shows the reader teen parenting from a young man's point of view. The story is thought-provoking, and the selfless decision Bobby made in the end moved me.
I read the opening pages aloud to my 8th grade English Language Arts class the other day and then gave a brief synopsis of the book's plot. I then offered my book as a loaner. Several students took me up on the offer (1 got the book and the rest are on the waiting list.)

This story explores the fear and yes, excitement, of pregnancy from the male teen perspective which is refreshing. I felt the book could have used more tension, but the message itself was powerful enough and the story written well enough to sustain interest.

If you are a pregnant teen or KNOW a pregnant teen, this is a must-read book. I almost hope my "loaner" copy of the book doesn't come back to me. That would mean one of my students loved it enough to keep it and read it again.
This review submitted on behalf of my daughter Bo-Ashley. She loved the book ...

THE FIRST PART LAST by: Angela Johnson

Published By: Simon Pulse in 2003

Summary: During this inspiring novel Bobby, a sixteen year old high school kid living in New York City, experiences a heart breaking event in which his beloved girl Nia falls pregnant and ends up in a coma following the birth of their daughter Feather. In one chapter of the book Bobby tells us he had been covering the alley walls with graffiti. In his art Bobby had created a familiar figure, he saw Nia within this baby but he could not "find" her face as if he was loosing her and could never find her. As Bobby explains his hardships and the events leading up to his loss he finds that Feather is the only thing he has that is left of Nia and can not bear the thought of giving her up to those happy smiling families on the wall, Feather was his and he was hers. And as Nia slowly slipped further and further from her surroundings, Bobby told Feather all about a place called heaven and how he imagined the place to be, the place where he knew Nia had gone.

Problem: Bobby and Nia have to decide weather to keep Feather or Give her up for adoption. And if they do give her to one of those smiling families on the wall which one will she go to?

Favorites: Bobby is my favorite character in this novel because he shows so much love toward Feather. Bobby also cares for and respects his girl Nia. Although stupid to have had a child at such a young age, Bobby finds himself with mixed emotions which he expresses withstrength and meaning.

Quote: " Nia: WHEN I WAS FIVE I wanted to be a firefighter. All my uniforms would have Nia on them, and I would speed through the city in the lightning trucks. I wanted the ladders to rise high into the sky and have me on them. I wanted my hands to pull people from fires and disasters. I wanted my arms to be the arms that carried out babies and kids, safe. I wanted my feet to be the ones that ran up endless flights of stairs and brought everybody back alive.

But by the time I was ten I wanted to be a balloonIst, and fly up high everybody, and that's what it feels like I'm doing now.

I'm flying up high over everybody; way over the city and even myself. I'm flying over Bobby and my parents, and the park with all my friends in it. I guess this is what it must feel like to be dying.

Alkl I want to do is lie here and sleep, even though I see the blood and it shouldn't be where it is. And it was just a minute ago Bobby was singing a shampoo commercial, but he's gone now.

But that's okay because all I want to do is fly."

This was the random out of place chapter that has so much meaning for this is when Nia slips into the coma. That was the last time she heard her love Bobby. It made me cry.

" I can tell you how it feels sitting in the window with Feather pointing out the creeks that rolls past our backyard. I can tell you how it is to feel as brand new as my daughter even though I don't know what comes next in this place called Heaven."

And this quote was the last paragraph when Bobby was explaining Heaven to Feather and how he knew that Nia had gone there. This also touched my heart and made me cry.

THE FIRST PART LAST was about thee best novel I have ever read. The message it sends across to the reader is so beautiful and strong, at the risk of sounding cheesy this novel actually touched upon my view of my surrounds and changed the way I think about life itself. I believe anyone who has a soul and an open mind and an imagination that's soars, one who is always asking questions will enjoy this outstanding novel. I for one know I shall read it again and soon...
I "read" the audio version of this book and wondered about Mia, the teenage mother throughout most of the book. I would recommend it to any teenager, particularly males, from Grade 8 and up.

With one exception, this story is told and performed exclusively by Khalipa Oldjohn. He gives an excellent performance of Bobbie - a 16 year old lower middle class boy, who is trying to raise his newborn daughter, Feather, virtually by himself. At the same time, Bobbie's continuing to attend school and trying to find some time for his friends in his sleep-deprived life.

I had only one issue with Oldjohn's performance. His acting didn't match the image of Bobbie suggested by the cover art. Oldjohn's voice, tone, and performance was well done. But, he sounded younger, more naive and innocent than the young man in the cover picture. It sounds silly, but I found this distracting and wished they had used changed the cover art. It is also the only reason I gave it four stars, rather than five. If I could, I would have given it a four and three/quarters.

Otherwise, it is a great, realistic, and vivid performance of the book. I particularly like the one scene where Mia finally "speaks." The actress protraying her was just as I imagined and it was probably my favorite scene and performance.
Particularly helpful were the transitional announcements at the beginning of the scenes (chapters): "Now" - indicating that the scene took place in the present; and "Then" - flashbacks to Bobbie's his previous life, including the pregnancy and birth of Feather.

Initially, Bobby's ambivalence about his newfound fatherhood and the related struggles and benefits don't seem very unexpected. The exception was that it is the teenager father, not the upper class mother Mia, who is raising the child. Is this just a predictable tale of how one simple judgment error changed a teen's entire life?

No!!! What makes this teenage pregnancy tale so unique and rewarding is the mystery surrounding the teenage mother that is finally revealed toward the end. When the mystery about the teenage mother is finally revealed in the en - ambiguity/mystery until the end. Only then, does everything make sense.