by Marilyn Reynolds

The lives of teens in crises of racism, a drunk driving accident, abortion, partner abuse, school failure and coping with the need to care for an aging relative, are depicted in these six captivating short stories. Three of the stories are told by young male narrators and three by female narrators. All six stories are captivating, with realistic and well-drawn characters.

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ISBN 978-1-929777-02-0

Paperback

193 pages

Grade level: 8-11

Lexile count: 770

IL: UG  AR: 9.0  BL: 4.6

Reviews:School Library Journal wrote:

Grade 8-11  Reynolds's young people struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds but do eventually succeed in improving their lives. They're not too good to be true, though--they seem like real kids. The language here is a little raw, but the situations will be familiar to far too many teens: school failure, pregnancy and abortion, racism, a fatal car accident, an aging relative, violence and abuse by a lover. Reynolds sets this collection of six stories in Hamilton High, a fictional, urban, ethnically mixed secondary school somewhere in Southern California, but the stories are universal. Some characters have parents who can provide emotional guidance, but others are stumbling through life without support. YAs will look forward to the next installment in the series.

Booklist wrote:

Gr. 9-12. This latest addition to Reynolds' Hamilton High series presents six stories about teens in crisis. Teen pregnancy, the topic of the two previous books, is an issue in only one of the stories, in which Christina from Too Soon for Jeff  discovers she is pregnant again and this time chooses abortion. Other crises revolve around an abusive partner, racism, failing at school, the death of a friend in an auto accident after a party at which alcohol is served, and coping with family obligations to care for an aging relative. All the young people are believable, likable, and appropriately thoughtful, given the situations they face. All the stories are interesting and well paced, and each has a slightly different style, which avoids repetition in theme and tone. Young adults will certainly identify with the characters and their problems, and it is particularly useful to have these issues addressed in short story form with alternate male and female narrators, thereby making it easy to recommend just one story to draw in reluctant readers. Once they get started, they probably won't stop at one.

Midwest Book Review wrote:

Real-life crises of teens are themes of six stories in a collection which ranges from stories of abuse to dilemmas of single parenting. This is a hard-hitting collection which provides fine insights into how crises are resolved. 


About the Author

Marilyn Reynolds is the author of eleven books of realistic teen fiction: Telling, Shut Up, No More Sad Goodbyes, If You Loved Me, Love Rules, Baby Help, But What About Me?, Beyond Dreams, Too Soon for Jeff Detour for Emmy, and Eddie's Choice all part of the popular and award-winning True-to-Life Series from Hamilton High. Marilyn is also the author of a book for educators, I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers, and a collection of essays, Over 70 and I Don’t Mean MPH. Her newest book is a memoir, 'Til Death or Dementia Do Us Part (2017) available from River Rock Books. She has a variety of published personal essays to her credit, and was nominated for an Emmy for the ABC Afterschool Special teleplay of Too Soon for Jeff.

Ms. Reynolds worked with reluctant learners and teens in crises at a southern California alternative high school for thirty years. She remains actively involved in education through author presentations to middle and high school students ranging from struggling readers to highly motivated writers who are interested in developing work for possible publication.

In the introduction to her book on techniques to help reluctant readers (I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me), Marilyn writes: “Over time I came to realize that the greatest gift I could give  to my students, many of whom would have no formal schooling after they left [high school], was the gift of a reading habit. Silent reading time became the backbone of my program.” She quotes a study in the the Los Angeles Times reporting that the single most significant factor in determining a person’s success in life is whether they read for pleasure.

She published her first novel, Telling, with the encouragement of Gloria Miklowitz, a well-known writer of young adult fiction. Telling deals with molestation, and students at her school became avid readers (and critics) of the manuscript. In the process, “students were developing a critical sense, using literary terms, analyzing character and motivation. And they were paying attention to the specifics of language use.”

Encouraged by the experience, she went on to write a realistic novel about teen pregnancy, Detour for Emmy, followed by nine more titles in the series. She believes that “the essence of sustained silent reading has to do with the increased understanding of one’s self and the world, of enabling the wounded to heal, the isolated to know they are not alone, the bigoted to see the humanity of others.”

Marilyn Reynolds is a passionate advocate of the benefits of writing in addition to reading. She promotes writing through participation in the 916 Ink program, and works with incarcerated youth in the Sacramento area. She engages with teens in a local continuation high school, and through visiting schools as an author. She also presents staff development workshops for educators and is a frequent guest speaker for programs and organizations that serve teens, parents, teachers, and writers.

Visit Marilyn's web site, or send a message to Marilyn Reynolds below



Other Books By Marilyn Reynolds

by Marilyn Reynolds

In the 9th grade, Emmy is an A student, a soccer star, and a lead soprano in the school choir. She falls for a junior who is also one of the choir's lead singers. Art is a dream of a boyfriend until Emmy finds that she's pregnant. His response is immediate denial and abandonment. Emmy's mother is angry and pushing for an abortion. Her guidance counselor claims that Emmy's life will be ruined by this turn of events, and only one of her friends tries to stand by her. Emmy must discard her plans and dreams of going away to college on a scholarship and find new plans and dreams that include life as a single mom.

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ISBN: 978-1-929777-05-1
Paperback
256 pages

Grade level: 8-12

Reading level: 4.4

Interest level: 7-12

Lexile count: 730

AR:11.0 IL: UG BL: 4.4

Reviews:Teen comments wrote:

When my son was born, I had no intention of going back to school or to work. Then I read Emmy. She’s my idol now. Because of her I’m going back to school full-time. – B. McG., age 16

It is a great book on how a girl decides to do what is right since her boyfriend won't. – Mayra

I read this book for health class but really liked it, and couldn't put it down. — Eletric Eel

Detour for Emmy is the best book in the whole world!!!! It’s a story about a girl who falls in love with "the boy of her dreams" in high school. The author’s style is quite interesting since it’s a girl’s perspective and it was a great experience reading her work. I love the fact that the author writes a bunch of stories about teens. Since it’s about teens it was easy for me to read it since I’m a teenager myself and it’s interesting because I would want to be able to click as well in high school when I talk to girls. I would recommend this book to whoever likes high school drama, boy/girl relationships, and family drama. — Damon L.

This book hit home hit home with me. I recommend this book for any teenage parent to read. It is well written and is not full of fluff. It says what can happen in such a situation and the reality of what it is like to raise a baby as a teenager. It doesn't beat around the bush it says it how it is and that is all that matters. Teenagers need to know the reality of such a situation and this book shares with them that reality. — Marie Z.

I've always been one for fiction books of teen pregnancy and this is one of my favorites. Marilyn Reynolds really call pull at your heart strings with this story of a teenage girl becoming pregnant, her boyfriend leaves her and her family is broken. Love how you can see the girl’s passion of only wanting the best for her baby. — Devon

I loved this book as a teenager. Although I was not a pregnant teenager, I found this to be a very realistic book because a lot of girls in my high school were pregnant. Even though Emmy's situation is terrible, you find yourself rooting for her! — Jennifer

I LOVE THIS BOOK! BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I READ IT IN 1 DAY! 1 DAY! — Sheeky

I really liked this book because it was extremely realistic and down-to-earth. When I became pregnant a year ago I bought many books on teen pregnancy, but most of them were so hokey and the mother almost always gives the baby up for adoption in the end. I liked this book because it gave me an idea of how hard it would be if I decided to keep my baby. I am proud to say today I have a beautiful 5 month old daughter. This book really helped me figure some things out, and I would recommend it to any pregnant teenager out there! — A customer

Teacher comments wrote:

Very good story line. Good book for young adults. If you think this book is too explicit, then you need to walk down the halls of a public middle school and overhear some of the conversations going on. They need to read and be aware of the consequences of their actions. Parents could discuss this book with their teen instead of running from the truth.

As a director of a crisis pregnancy center, I found the message of this book tremendous. A young teenager getting pregnant, older boyfriend dumping her, unsupportive mom, friends telling her to have an abortion ... the typical situation I hear every day. 

Publishers Weekly wrote:

At the end of eighth grade, Emmy is at the top of the world. She's popular, does well in school, has two best friends and sings in the chorus. Ninth grade is more of a challenge, yet Emmy continues to thrive and even falls in love. Then she gets pregnant. Thoughtful and thorough, this novel vividly portrays teenage love and its consequences. Emmy faces her choices with a believable mix of bravery and weakness, earning the reader's sympathy. The author, who teaches English at an alternative school in California, demonstrates a true understanding of her audience along with a solid interest in providing important information. With its timely news about social programs serving pregnant teens, its candor and its message about summoning one's inner strength, this instructive tale is both cautionary and inspirational. Ages 12-up.

Booklist wrote:

Gr. 8-12. Emmy's mother is an alcoholic; her beloved brother is in trouble with the law; and her father is long gone. But in high school, Emmy is a straight A student, a soccer star, and lead soprano in the choir, and she attracts an absolute hunk, upperclassman boyfriend, who's also "going places." Although they have sex on a regular basis, they always use protection--except for one night. When Art finds out Emmy is pregnant, he denies he's the father and breaks up with her. Emmy, who sees having the baby as the only way she'll ever have someone who will love her back, resists the pressure to have an abortion. She faces her mother's anger, prejudice at school, the fear and pain of pregnancy, and the burdens of caring for the child--and manages to get her life back on track. The story might be a cliche, but, unfortunately, it is a relevant cliche for the many teen mothers who live it every year. Writing in an appealing conversational style, Reynolds adds plenty of interesting plot elements to keep the pages turning. The characters, especially Emmy as first-person narrator, are well-drawn, complex, and believable. 


About the Author

Marilyn Reynolds is the author of eleven books of realistic teen fiction: Telling, Shut Up, No More Sad Goodbyes, If You Loved Me, Love Rules, Baby Help, But What About Me?, Beyond Dreams, Too Soon for Jeff Detour for Emmy, and Eddie's Choice all part of the popular and award-winning True-to-Life Series from Hamilton High. Marilyn is also the author of a book for educators, I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers, and a collection of essays, Over 70 and I Don’t Mean MPH. Her newest book is a memoir, 'Til Death or Dementia Do Us Part (2017) available from River Rock Books. She has a variety of published personal essays to her credit, and was nominated for an Emmy for the ABC Afterschool Special teleplay of Too Soon for Jeff.

Ms. Reynolds worked with reluctant learners and teens in crises at a southern California alternative high school for thirty years. She remains actively involved in education through author presentations to middle and high school students ranging from struggling readers to highly motivated writers who are interested in developing work for possible publication.

In the introduction to her book on techniques to help reluctant readers (I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me), Marilyn writes: “Over time I came to realize that the greatest gift I could give  to my students, many of whom would have no formal schooling after they left [high school], was the gift of a reading habit. Silent reading time became the backbone of my program.” She quotes a study in the the Los Angeles Times reporting that the single most significant factor in determining a person’s success in life is whether they read for pleasure.

She published her first novel, Telling, with the encouragement of Gloria Miklowitz, a well-known writer of young adult fiction. Telling deals with molestation, and students at her school became avid readers (and critics) of the manuscript. In the process, “students were developing a critical sense, using literary terms, analyzing character and motivation. And they were paying attention to the specifics of language use.”

Encouraged by the experience, she went on to write a realistic novel about teen pregnancy, Detour for Emmy, followed by nine more titles in the series. She believes that “the essence of sustained silent reading has to do with the increased understanding of one’s self and the world, of enabling the wounded to heal, the isolated to know they are not alone, the bigoted to see the humanity of others.”

Marilyn Reynolds is a passionate advocate of the benefits of writing in addition to reading. She promotes writing through participation in the 916 Ink program, and works with incarcerated youth in the Sacramento area. She engages with teens in a local continuation high school, and through visiting schools as an author. She also presents staff development workshops for educators and is a frequent guest speaker for programs and organizations that serve teens, parents, teachers, and writers.

Visit Marilyn's web site, or send a message to Marilyn Reynolds below



Other Books By Marilyn Reynolds

by Marilyn Reynolds

Autumn still misses her mother, who died when she was five. But her father and grandmother are raising her with love, laughter, and common sense. She’s a top volleyball player and student. Then it all falls apart. A family tragedy strikes just as Autumn learns she is unhappily pregnant. Difficult choices confront her and she will have to find new support--and soon.

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ISBN 978-1-929777-10-5

Paperback
226 pages

Grades 8 and up

AR: 11.0 IL: UG BL: 4.8

 

Excerpt:

I can’t go through with it.

“Come on, here’s to 18,” he says, clinking his bottle against mine and taking a sip. Under the stars, feeling the glow of champagne, when Jason leans over and kisses me, it seems right. And when we do exactly what he’s wanted to do, that seems right at the time too.

Reviews:VOYA wrote:

Packed with realistic situations with which many teens must cope, and Autumn’s difficult decision will inspire much discussion.

Booklist wrote:

An engaging, thought-provoking read, recommended for reluctant readers.

Kliatt wrote:

For all the sadness, Autumn and her baby's story is ultimately one of love and hope. It's a very positive presentation of adoption, especially open adoption. Good for Marilyn Reynolds for devoted attention to the concerns of teenage women.

Joan Kaywell wrote:

Reynolds has outdone herself in developing both an awesome character and a captivating story that will stay with readers long after the book ends. This is a must read for adolescent girls and adults interested in the foster care system, lesbian issues, and fundamentalist concerns.


About the Author

Marilyn Reynolds is the author of eleven books of realistic teen fiction: Telling, Shut Up, No More Sad Goodbyes, If You Loved Me, Love Rules, Baby Help, But What About Me?, Beyond Dreams, Too Soon for Jeff Detour for Emmy, and Eddie's Choice all part of the popular and award-winning True-to-Life Series from Hamilton High. Marilyn is also the author of a book for educators, I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers, and a collection of essays, Over 70 and I Don’t Mean MPH. Her newest book is a memoir, 'Til Death or Dementia Do Us Part (2017) available from River Rock Books. She has a variety of published personal essays to her credit, and was nominated for an Emmy for the ABC Afterschool Special teleplay of Too Soon for Jeff.

Ms. Reynolds worked with reluctant learners and teens in crises at a southern California alternative high school for thirty years. She remains actively involved in education through author presentations to middle and high school students ranging from struggling readers to highly motivated writers who are interested in developing work for possible publication.

In the introduction to her book on techniques to help reluctant readers (I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me), Marilyn writes: “Over time I came to realize that the greatest gift I could give  to my students, many of whom would have no formal schooling after they left [high school], was the gift of a reading habit. Silent reading time became the backbone of my program.” She quotes a study in the the Los Angeles Times reporting that the single most significant factor in determining a person’s success in life is whether they read for pleasure.

She published her first novel, Telling, with the encouragement of Gloria Miklowitz, a well-known writer of young adult fiction. Telling deals with molestation, and students at her school became avid readers (and critics) of the manuscript. In the process, “students were developing a critical sense, using literary terms, analyzing character and motivation. And they were paying attention to the specifics of language use.”

Encouraged by the experience, she went on to write a realistic novel about teen pregnancy, Detour for Emmy, followed by nine more titles in the series. She believes that “the essence of sustained silent reading has to do with the increased understanding of one’s self and the world, of enabling the wounded to heal, the isolated to know they are not alone, the bigoted to see the humanity of others.”

Marilyn Reynolds is a passionate advocate of the benefits of writing in addition to reading. She promotes writing through participation in the 916 Ink program, and works with incarcerated youth in the Sacramento area. She engages with teens in a local continuation high school, and through visiting schools as an author. She also presents staff development workshops for educators and is a frequent guest speaker for programs and organizations that serve teens, parents, teachers, and writers.

Visit Marilyn's web site, or send a message to Marilyn Reynolds below



Other Books By Marilyn Reynolds

by Marilyn Reynolds

Jeff Browning is a talented high school debater who stands a solid chance of winning a scholarship to the college of his dreams. When Christy, his girlfriend, announces that she is pregnant and she will neither have an abortion nor give the baby up for adoption, Jeff is forced to deal with the consequences of his actions. Ready or not, Jeff is going to be a father, and the course of his life is changed forever.

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ISBN: 978-1-929777-03-7
Paperback
224 pages

Grades 7-12

Reading level: 4.6

AR: 9.0 IL: UG BL: 4.6

Unanimously selected by the American Library Association (ALA) for its Best Books for Young Adults list

An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers

New York Public Library Best books for the Teen Age

Made into an ABC-TV After School Special, nominated for an Emmy

Too Soon for Jeff has also been translated into Chinese (not available through New Wind Publishing).

Reviews:Teen readers wrote:

This book really is a great book. Many teenagers in high school can relate to this. Teen parents or soon to be teen parents will get to see the struggles of having a child during high school. I very much enjoyed this book. — Morgan

Being a teen mom, I found this book very helpful to understand my son's father's point of view. Like Christy I was TOTALLY against abortion and we struggled quite a lot with that issue. We are no longer together, sadly to say, but I feel like if I would have read this book sooner, it could have helped us to work things out instead of fighting all of the time. I would strongly recommend this book to many teen moms that feel stranded, and like they are the only one out there in this position. — Briana

This book was awsome! I read the whole book in a day. It is so good that you can't put it down. It helps you understand the pressure that teen parents are under, and what decisions they have to make. I recomend that everyone reads this book. — A kid

Do you like real life stories filled with action and a catchy beginning? Well this is the book for you. You'll actually feel the character, from emotions to what there going through and probably even shed a couple tears. Yup, that's right! You'll feel how it is to be lonely and have an idea of how a pregnant teenagers life is. — Ivette V.

School Library Journal wrote:

Grade 8-12. The realities of teenage sexuality are portrayed in this story of Jeff Browning and his girlfriend Christy. They have been together for a year, and he has just decided that he needs more independence and time to spend with his friends. He is a high school senior looking forward to a promising college career in debate. When Christy reveals that she is pregnant, life changes drastically. Jeff is outraged that she often "forgot" to take the pill, and insists on an abortion. The young woman protests, and has the baby, hoping Jeff will stay with her. His family is angry, but supportive, while Christy's belligerent father makes the situation worse. Unlike many teenage fathers, Jeff does finally take responsibility for his son and learns to balance college life with fatherhood. Believable characters and an easy-to-read text will make this an appealing story that emphasizes the consequences and responsibilities of sexual behavior among young people.

Booklist wrote:

Gr. 8-12. Jeff Browning has a plan for his future. As a champion debater he stands a chance for a scholarship to the college of his dreams. So when his girlfriend, Christy, happily informs him she's pregnant, though she had told him she was on the pill, Jeff feels betrayed. Christy refuses to consider abortion or adoption, and Jeff announces that it is her choice, but it is too soon for him to be a father. As Christy's pregnancy progresses, Jeff is forced to confront the disapproval of his mother, classmates, and respected teachers, as well as his own guilt. As much as he tries, he can't turn his back on his own child. Whether Jeff is ready or not, he is going to be a father--his plan for his life changed forever. In Jeff, Reynolds has crafted a character both maddening and sympathetic; he is totally believable as a teen who has an underlying sense of integrity but refuses to accept that he must face the consequences of his actions. Reynolds' Detour for Emmy is a tale of teen pregnancy from the mother's point of view; this teen father's story is a thoughtful book for both young men and young women.

Kirkus Reviews wrote:

Jeff, almost 18, and Christy, two years younger, have been going together for months. Because Jeff is feeling threatened by Christy's possessiveness, he decides to break off the relationship. But before he gets a chance to bring the subject up, Christy tells him that she is four months pregnant with his child. Jeff is horrified; he knows that they are both too young and unprepared for parenthood, that a child will signal the end of each of their plans for the future. He tries to get Christy to have an abortion, but she is adamant in her refusal. Meanwhile, Christy's father insists that Jeff marry his daughter, and Jeff's mother, about to start an important mid-life career change, announces that she will not give up her future to be a full-time grandmother for the child. Jeff, a basically decent young man, is confused and ashamed, worried about what his future (and Christy's, and the child's) holds. Reynolds's last book, Detour for Emmy, concerned the life choices facing a pregnant 15-year-old girl and was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. This one is at least as well written as Detour but is perhaps even more important than the earlier novel since so little has been written about the problems of young unmarried fathers-to-be. Another candidate for next year's BBYA list. (Fiction. 12+)


About the Author

Marilyn Reynolds is the author of eleven books of realistic teen fiction: Telling, Shut Up, No More Sad Goodbyes, If You Loved Me, Love Rules, Baby Help, But What About Me?, Beyond Dreams, Too Soon for Jeff Detour for Emmy, and Eddie's Choice all part of the popular and award-winning True-to-Life Series from Hamilton High. Marilyn is also the author of a book for educators, I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers, and a collection of essays, Over 70 and I Don’t Mean MPH. Her newest book is a memoir, 'Til Death or Dementia Do Us Part (2017) available from River Rock Books. She has a variety of published personal essays to her credit, and was nominated for an Emmy for the ABC Afterschool Special teleplay of Too Soon for Jeff.

Ms. Reynolds worked with reluctant learners and teens in crises at a southern California alternative high school for thirty years. She remains actively involved in education through author presentations to middle and high school students ranging from struggling readers to highly motivated writers who are interested in developing work for possible publication.

In the introduction to her book on techniques to help reluctant readers (I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me), Marilyn writes: “Over time I came to realize that the greatest gift I could give  to my students, many of whom would have no formal schooling after they left [high school], was the gift of a reading habit. Silent reading time became the backbone of my program.” She quotes a study in the the Los Angeles Times reporting that the single most significant factor in determining a person’s success in life is whether they read for pleasure.

She published her first novel, Telling, with the encouragement of Gloria Miklowitz, a well-known writer of young adult fiction. Telling deals with molestation, and students at her school became avid readers (and critics) of the manuscript. In the process, “students were developing a critical sense, using literary terms, analyzing character and motivation. And they were paying attention to the specifics of language use.”

Encouraged by the experience, she went on to write a realistic novel about teen pregnancy, Detour for Emmy, followed by nine more titles in the series. She believes that “the essence of sustained silent reading has to do with the increased understanding of one’s self and the world, of enabling the wounded to heal, the isolated to know they are not alone, the bigoted to see the humanity of others.”

Marilyn Reynolds is a passionate advocate of the benefits of writing in addition to reading. She promotes writing through participation in the 916 Ink program, and works with incarcerated youth in the Sacramento area. She engages with teens in a local continuation high school, and through visiting schools as an author. She also presents staff development workshops for educators and is a frequent guest speaker for programs and organizations that serve teens, parents, teachers, and writers.

Visit Marilyn's web site, or send a message to Marilyn Reynolds below



Other Books By Marilyn Reynolds

by Marilyn Reynolds

Melissa doesn't consider herself abused—Rudy only hits her occasionally when he's drinking—until she realizes the effect his abuse is having on their child. Finally Melissa leaves Rudy, and she and Cheyenne go to the shelter for battered women. As difficulties with group living arise, however, she misses the good times with Rudy. The clarity of Melissa's decision soon fades, and she finds herself again in a dangerous situation, more trapped than ever before. through the compelling character of Melissa, the reader experiences the dangers and complexities of abusive relationships.

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ISBN: 978-1-929777-04-4
Paperback
224 pages

Grade level: 7 and up

Lexile count: 740

AR: 9.0 IL:UG, BL:4.6

Reviews:Teen readers wrote:

This book really got to me as a teen and it stuck with me even through my adulthood so much so that I had to go out and buy it. I loved this book as a teen. Melissa's story was so real and powerful. She was a girl stuck in a terrible situation with no one to turn to and she had to be a strong person to get her and her daughter out of a tough situation. Very good book!! — Jasmine

This book is So AMAZING i read it in 2 days and i never put it down . i actually shed a tear. — Diva M.

I absolutely loved this book. This is my third time reading it. Marilyn Reynolds is a great author. I am going to continue to buy more of her books. — Aimee D.

School Library Journal wrote:

Grade 7 and up. Melissa, a senior at Hamilton High School, lives with her child, the child's father, and his mother. The teen has convinced herself that Rudy's need to control and abuse her isn't really a problem, but when he turns on their daughter, she knows she must get out and get help. As with Reynolds's other titles, this offering is a bit didactic in its intent to raise the consciousness of readers about pertinent personal and social issues. The author is very successful in creating characters that YAs will relate to and be interested in. The plot development successfully depicts the protagonist's growing awareness of her situation. Her gradual understanding of her personal rights and the increasing severity of the abuse are realistic and familiarize readers with both the emotional and practical issues involved. The dialogue is authentic and is more likely to hold the interest of reluctant readers than nonfiction titles on this topic. The title is repeated throughout as the protagonist's baby's expression of the need to do things for herself, a not-so-subtle message that asks young people to stand up for themselves and take charge of their own futures.

Booklist wrote:

Gr. 8^-12. Being a teen mom, living with your boyfriend and his mother, and trying to finish high school are even more difficult when your boyfriend is physically and verbally abusive and his mother claims it's your fault. This is Melissa Fisher's life--a life she accepts until boyfriend Rudy begins the same abusive patterns with two-year-old Cheyenne. True to other books in her Hamilton High series, Reynolds carefully explores the problem of partner abuse, guiding Melissa through the complexities of identifying the problem, exploring ways to escape its destructive effects, and facing the reality of living with its solution. Although she occasionally verges on the didactic, Reynolds understands Melissa's dilemma: her need for love and support and a dad for Cheyenne, the pull to return to the patterns and security of old ways, and the legal ramifications of escaping them. Good parenting techniques are incorporated naturally into the narration.

Reviewer’s Bookwatch wrote:

Reflects the realities in many women’s lives.

Midwest Book Review wrote:

The latest in the "True-to-Life from Hamilton High" series, Marilyn Reynolds' Baby Help is a novel of the nightmare of teen domestic abuse. A young mother doesn't see herself as battered because her boyfriend "only" hits her when he's been drinking... until he starts behaving abusively toward her daughter. That's when she realizes it's time to get out of the relationship - but after she reaches a shelter for battered women, she has second thoughts about leaving, which place her and her daughter's life in mortal jeopardy. Baby Help is a powerfully written fictional treatment of a very real and dangerous issue facing teens today.


About the Author

Marilyn Reynolds is the author of eleven books of realistic teen fiction: Telling, Shut Up, No More Sad Goodbyes, If You Loved Me, Love Rules, Baby Help, But What About Me?, Beyond Dreams, Too Soon for Jeff Detour for Emmy, and Eddie's Choice all part of the popular and award-winning True-to-Life Series from Hamilton High. Marilyn is also the author of a book for educators, I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers, and a collection of essays, Over 70 and I Don’t Mean MPH. Her newest book is a memoir, 'Til Death or Dementia Do Us Part (2017) available from River Rock Books. She has a variety of published personal essays to her credit, and was nominated for an Emmy for the ABC Afterschool Special teleplay of Too Soon for Jeff.

Ms. Reynolds worked with reluctant learners and teens in crises at a southern California alternative high school for thirty years. She remains actively involved in education through author presentations to middle and high school students ranging from struggling readers to highly motivated writers who are interested in developing work for possible publication.

In the introduction to her book on techniques to help reluctant readers (I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me), Marilyn writes: “Over time I came to realize that the greatest gift I could give  to my students, many of whom would have no formal schooling after they left [high school], was the gift of a reading habit. Silent reading time became the backbone of my program.” She quotes a study in the the Los Angeles Times reporting that the single most significant factor in determining a person’s success in life is whether they read for pleasure.

She published her first novel, Telling, with the encouragement of Gloria Miklowitz, a well-known writer of young adult fiction. Telling deals with molestation, and students at her school became avid readers (and critics) of the manuscript. In the process, “students were developing a critical sense, using literary terms, analyzing character and motivation. And they were paying attention to the specifics of language use.”

Encouraged by the experience, she went on to write a realistic novel about teen pregnancy, Detour for Emmy, followed by nine more titles in the series. She believes that “the essence of sustained silent reading has to do with the increased understanding of one’s self and the world, of enabling the wounded to heal, the isolated to know they are not alone, the bigoted to see the humanity of others.”

Marilyn Reynolds is a passionate advocate of the benefits of writing in addition to reading. She promotes writing through participation in the 916 Ink program, and works with incarcerated youth in the Sacramento area. She engages with teens in a local continuation high school, and through visiting schools as an author. She also presents staff development workshops for educators and is a frequent guest speaker for programs and organizations that serve teens, parents, teachers, and writers.

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