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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Teaching guide

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ISBN 978-1-929777-10-5

226 pages

Grades 8 and up

AR: 11.0 IL: UG BL: 4.8



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, designing each visit to meet the individual needs of the school. 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.

To request a visit, comment on Marilyn's books, or ask a question, visit Marilyn's web site, or send a message to Marilyn Reynolds below:

Other Books By Marilyn Reynolds