The First Part Last

Hardcover | June 1, 2003

byAngela Johnson

not yet rated|write a review
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.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$19.99

In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

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 ...

Angela Johnson received her first major literary prize in 1991 when her second book When I Am Old with You was named a Coretta Scott King Honor book. Since that time, Angela has won two Coretta Scott King Awards, for the novels Heaven and Toning the Sweep, and a second Coretta Scott King Honor for The Other Side: Shorter Poems. Her mo...

other books by Angela Johnson

Looking For Red
Looking For Red

Paperback|Nov 1 2003

$7.99

Joshua by the Sea
Joshua by the Sea

Board Book|Sep 1 1994

$8.61 online$8.99list price
Habitat for Humanity How to Build a House: How to Build a House
Habitat for Humanity How to Build a House: How to Build...

Paperback|Oct 1 2002

$31.91 online$35.95list price(save 11%)
see all books by Angela Johnson
Format:HardcoverDimensions:144 pages, 7.5 × 4.5 × 0.6 inPublished:June 1, 2003Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0689849222

ISBN - 13:9780689849220

Appropriate for ages: 12

Reviews

Extra Content

Read from the Book

From Part I now My mom says that I didn't sleep through the night until I was eight years old. It didn't make any difference to her 'cause she was up too, listening to the city. She says she used to come into my room, sit cross-legged on the floor by my bed, and play with my Game Boy in the dark. We never talked. I guess I thought she needed to be there. And she must have thought her being there made everything all better for me. Yeah. I get it now. I really get it. We didn't need to say it. We didn't have to look at each other or even let the other one know we saw each other in the glow of the Game Boy. So last week when it looked like Feather probably wasn't ever going to sleep through the night, I lay her on my stomach and breathed her in. My daughter is eleven days old. And that sweet new baby smell...the smell of baby shampoo, formula, and my mom's perfume. It made me cry like I hadn't since I was a little kid. It scared the hell out of me. Then, when Feather moved on my stomach like one of those mechanical dolls in the store windows at Christmas, the tears dried up. Like that. I thought about laying her in the middle of my bed and going off to find my old Game Boy, but I didn't. Things have to change. I've been thinking about it. Everything. And when Feather opens her eyes and looks up at me, I already know there's change. But I figure if the world were really right, humans would live life backward and do the first part last. They'd be all knowing in the beginning and innocent in the end. Then everybody could end their life on their momma or daddy's stomach in a warm room, waiting for the soft morning light. then And this is how I turned sixteen.... Skipped school with my running buddies, K-Boy and J. L., and went to Mineo's for a couple of slices. Hit a matinee and threw as much popcorn at each other as we ate. Then went to the top of the Empire State Building 'cause I never had before. I said what everybody who'd ever been up there says. "Everybody looks like ants." Yeah, right.... Later on that night my pops, Fred, made my favorite meal -- cheese fries and ribs -- at his restaurant. I caught the subway home and walked real slow 'cause I knew my mom had a big-ass cake for me when I got there, and I was still full. (In my family, special days mean nonstop food.) I never had any cake though 'cause my girlfriend Nia was waiting on our stoop for me with a red balloon. Just sittin' there with a balloon, looking all lost. I'll never forget that look and how her voice shook when she said, "Bobby, I've got something to tell you." Then she handed me the balloon. Copyright © 2003 by Angela Johnson

Editorial Reviews

Booklist, starred review Poetry.