The First Part Last
by Angela Johnson

Genre: Realistic Fiction

APA Citation:
Johnson, A. (2003). The first part last. New York, NY. Simon Pulse. ISBN:0689849222

Award: Printz Award (2004)

Summary: Written in alternating chapters called “then” and “now” this book tells the story of sixteen-year-old Bobby Morris. Morris is a single father to daughter Feather who is portrayed as his entire world. As Booby describes the challenges of being a teen parent he realizes that the situation has really made him into a man and the things that he would have worried about before now seem insignificant.

I can personally relate to this story. Being a mom at the age of seventeen, I could identify with the challenges Bobbie faced concerning family members, friends, and school work. I think this book is an accurate depiction of the struggles teens experience when faced with parenthood. I also thought that in a time where Teen Mom represents a somewhat one-sided view of teen parenting, it was nice to get a guy’s perspective.

Curriculum Connection:
RL.11-12.5. Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

Promotional Activity:
A book trailer would be a great way to promote The First Part Last. In addition to summarizing the story, I could use statistics related to teen parenting, along with clips from popular reality shows such as Teen Mom.