Alexandra Hopewell, Labor Coach
Alexandra Hopewell, Labor Coach
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Annotation: Eleven-year-old Alex Hopewell wants to be her expectant mother's labor coach, but first she must convince her family, friends, and teacher that she can handle the responsibility.
Catalog Number: #3285750
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Albert Whitman
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition Date: c2005
Pages: 164 p.
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8075-0242-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-8075-0242-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2004018344
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Alexandra Hopewell is called Alex Hopeless by her classmates; she is endlessly in the doghouse with her teacher, and, as if life weren't complicated enough, she has announced that she is going to be her pregnant mom's labor coach. Just when Alex decides that being in the delivery room might be too overwhelming, her mother goes into labor, and Alex must prove herself to her parents, her teacher, and her skeptical classmates. For the most part, Butler successfully juggles the many elements of her novel, including a protagonist with special needs (Alex has auditory processing disorder); a teacher who is impatient with a pupil's atypical learning style; and the specifics of giving birth. However, portrayals of supporting characters are occasionally too simplistic, and few readers will be drawn by the awkward, dated cover illustration. Still, this merits consideration for its candor regarding the birthing process, unusual in fiction for this age group.
Horn Book
Fifth-grader Alex can't do anything right because she cannot control her impulses. In spite of this, she hopes her parents will let her attend the birth of her new sibling (although she has second thoughts after viewing a birthing video). Though the characters can sound stiff and too adult, Alex is sympathetic and her learning disability is thoughtfully portrayed.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Alexandra, 11, struggles with a learning disability and an unpleasant teacher at school, while at home she prepares for the birth of a sibling. After having broken three eggs (representing infants) in her class's family-life project, Alex decides that witnessing her sibling's birth firsthand would be a fine replacement for the assignment and sets out to convince her parents that she is mature enough to handle the occasion. Predictably, the baby arrives early, and Alex must deliver it single-handedly, giving her a much-needed confidence boost. Although Alex is likable, most of the characterizations are uneven and the message is a bit heavy-handed. The author describes a childbirth video in blatant detail, describing the blood, mucus, and pain so accurately that it may shock or scare some readers. This book might have limited use in a parenting collection or for children with specific requests; however, suitable alternatives exist in this genre, notably the works of Ellen Conford, Betsy Byars, and Jack Gantos.-Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (4/1/05)
Horn Book (8/1/05)
School Library Journal
Word Count: 30,650
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 88589 / grade: Middle Grades

After breaking her third egg in her fifth grade class's Family Life Unit, Mrs. Ryder won't trust Alexandra with an egg, so Alex must write a report about child development. That's when Alex announces that she is going to be her mom's labor coach. But she hasn't told her mom yet.

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