Sylvia Olsen Girl with a Baby

ISBN 13: 9781550391428

Girl with a Baby

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You are the same girl that came to school last year. They are the same kids. But nothing was the same and I knew it. I had become the girl with a baby.

Jane has always been the good Williams. Her brothers might be high school dropouts and late-night rowdy partiers, but never Jane. Jane never drinks, smokes dope or misses a single day of school. She's in the drama club...smart and hot...one of the popular ones. Or she used to be. Now she's one of those: the teenage mothers packing diaper bags with their knapsacks, wheeling strollers into the high school daycare, tired and grumpy.

Jane's only 14, younger than most of them, and she can feel the stares in the school halls. She can hear the whispers on her whitebread street, too: too bad, gone the way of her brothers, guess those Indians are all the same. Jane isn't what she used to be-but then, maybe she's more. When baby Destiny was being born, grandmother Tet told her she came from a long line of strong mothers, and Jane's discovering it's true. Because of baby Destiny, Jane dares to demand the best, not just of herself, but of her whole family. This Jane accepts the consequences of her decisions, good and bad, and pushes through prejudices the former Jane just tiptoed around. This Jane is a strong link in something bigger than herself. She's a girl with a baby, two feet on the ground, one hand in the warm grasp of Tet and her Indian past, and the other holding firmly to the future.

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About the Author:

Sylvia Olsen is the author of many books and has been nominated for and won numerous awards. She has spent most of her life living in theTsartlip First Nation, where her children and grandchildren now live. Sylvia usually writes for children and young adults about the place between cultures where Canada's First Nations and settlers come together. She is also a storyteller who loves to work with young people to help them find their written and spoken voice. Sylvia is the mother of four and grandmother of seven. She lives in North Saanich near Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.sylviaolsen.ca.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-10–The perfect daughter in a less-than-perfect family, Jane Williams now has a daughter of her own. But having a baby at age 14 is a sure sign that the teen made a mistake somewhere along the line. Deserted by the infant's father and with her own mother dead, Jane returns to school, fearing she will no longer be popular and successful; she will just be "the girl with a baby." She finds unexpected support from other students and her family, in particular, her Native American grandmother, Teh, who guides her along the path that leads her to be the strong and wise young woman she was meant to become. This is a rite-of-passage story, joining the strength and tradition of Jane's tribal heritage as given to her by her people with her personal struggle to face and win her own battles. Lyrical passages of tribal life mirror Jane's contemporary thoughts and dreams. She discovers that Destiny is aptly named, for her child transforms the lives of all the people she touches, especially her mother. Set in Canada, this contemporary novel beautifully blends a realistic story of teenage life with a unique view of an old and largely unknown Native American culture. This is a common story told uncommonly well.–Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL
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Olsen, Sylvia
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