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Annotation: In complete denial that she is pregnant, straight-A student and star athlete Devon Davenport leaves her baby in the trash to die, and after the baby is discovered, Devon is accused of attempted murder.
Catalog Number: #37843
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2010
Pages: 350 pages
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-14-241590-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-25956-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-14-241590-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-25956-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010275195
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Efaw assigns herself a seemingly impossible task eating sympathy for a teen mother who tosses her newborn baby into a trash bin t somehow pulls it off in this successful button pusher. Devon is a sophomore soccer star charged with the unsavory crime, and the story picks up with the police doing a routine search for clues and finding Devon covered with blood. But it's not from a really bloody period, as she claims, and soon she is plunged into a juvenile holding system while her lawyer, the take-charge Dominique, tries to draw out information in an attempt to avoid an attempted murder charge in adult court. Devon has blocked out most of the event, and her continued denial provides gradual elucidation into how she could have disavowed her entire pregnancy. Efaw's depiction of the actual birth comes in bits and pieces, and is rightfully disturbing. The pace mires somewhat in the drawn-out legal proceedings, but there's no doubt that Efaw humanizes Devon effort that will repel or enlighten readers, depending on their individual predilections.
Horn Book
No one understands how Devon, a model student and athlete, could throw her newborn baby in the trash. Now Devon must undergo a hearing to decide whether she'll be tried for attempted murder as a juvenile or adult. This dramatic courtroom novel presents an in-depth picture of the juvenile justice system. A detached third-person narrator conveys Devon's mixed-up emotions and psychological distress.
Kirkus Reviews
Devon, a perfect student and soccer star, can't explain how she didn't know about her pregnancy or how she could put IT, bloody and wailing, in a trash bag and carry IT out to a dumpster. Efaw captures Devon's mortification, denial and despair, shifting fluidly between her present experiences in a juvenile jail and the terrifying night a baby inexplicably arrived. As her no-nonsense lawyer pushes for answers, readers experience gripping flashbacks alongside Devon. Mounting tension culminates only when Devon finally faces her entire, horrific act. The author constructs powerful, pressurized scenes inside the girls' detention center as well, filling it with believable, disturbing characters, rigid rules and the metallic echoes of lock-downs. Authentic dialogue and pithy writing allow teens to feel every prick of panic, embarrassment and fear. They also quickly understand how Devon could delude herself for so long: No one would want to emulate Devon's mother, a salacious, brassy man-hunter who got knocked up as a teen. Young adults with smoldering parental resentment or with fixations on perfection will understand Devon's devastation at losing a cultivated future. (Fiction. 12 & up)
Publishers Weekly

According to the author's note, “approximately one baby is abandoned to a trash can every day in the United States.” This “dumpster baby” phenomenon is the subject of Efaw's (Battle Dress) chilling sophomore novel. For optimal (if expected) shock effect, the perceived heartless mother, 15-year-old Devon Davenport, is a poster child overachiever—star goalie for the soccer team, exceptional student, well-liked by all. But when she becomes pregnant, her carefully chiseled world turns in on itself. Fueled by a mixture of intense denial about her predicament and disgust at her behavior, Devon tries to absolve herself of what happened “That Night” by pretending “IT” (how Devon refers to the baby throughout) never happened. The result—and the subsequent story of her arrest and prosecution—is harrowing, if melodramatic at times. The scenes between Devon, portrayed as a frozen and shattered victim of her own choices and background, and her lawyer, Dom (especially during the trial), are strong and resonate like the best courtroom dramas. It's an emotionally wrenching story that will keep readers' attention through its surprising conclusion. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up Fifteen-year-old Devon Davenport lies on the sofa mindlessly watching morning TV. She is in physical pain, and her only recourse is to mentally disconnect. Suddenly her life turns upside down and she is left wondering what happened. Why is she being charged with attempted murder? Through a series of conversations with her court-appointed attorney, Devon begins to uncover deep-seated resentments and awaken to the fact that she had been pregnant, has given birth to a baby, and thrown the infant into a Dumpster. Devon begins as an unsympathetic character who grows, giving readers a better understanding of her choices. This is a skillfully written, emotionally raw story detailing one girl's difficult journey from denial of her circumstances to acceptance and redemption. Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 8 Up Fifteen-year-old Devon Davenport lies on the sofa mindlessly watching morning TV. She is in physical pain, and her only recourse is to mentally disconnect. Suddenly her life turns upside down and she is left wondering what happened. Why is she being charged with attempted murder? Through a series of conversations with her court-appointed attorney, Devon begins to uncover deep-seated resentments and awaken to the fact that she had been pregnant, has given birth to a baby, and thrown the infant into a Dumpster. Devon begins as an unsympathetic character who grows, giving readers a better understanding of her choices. This is a skillfully written, emotionally raw story detailing one girl's difficult journey from denial of her circumstances to acceptance and redemption. Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK
Voice of Youth Advocates
When police officers find Devon lying on a blood-soaked couch in her motherÆs apartment, she barely remains conscious long enough to hear them read her rights. In a fog of pain and weakness, she hears them describe the newborn baby found in a plastic bag in the trash can in the alley. In the emergency room, Devon insists that she is only having a bad period until, restrained and sedated, undeniable proof is revealed that she has given birth. A few days later, she is taken to the juvenile detention center where she awaits a hearing. With the help of her attorney, Devon gradually remembers her first and only sexual encounter, her secret pregnancy, and the nightmarish birth that she endured alone in her bathroom. Devon has distinguished herself as a high school honor student and a star soccer player. Afraid of following in her single momÆs footsteps, Devon lies to her doctor, her coach and her friends to hide her pregnancy, cutting herself off from any available help. Only her complete denial of her pregnancy and the birth transforms Devon into a sympathetic character. With horror, readers realize that their worst fears are confirmed. There are no extenuating circumstances that excuse DevonÆs behavior. She bundled her newborn infant into a garbage bag to still its cries and erase its existence. Chilling, realistic and horrifying, this book examines clinical denial in a young girl. Graphic and heart-wrenching, this book belongs in every high school and public library.ùNancy K. Wallace.
Word Count: 92,651
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 14.0 / quiz: 133075 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:22.0 / quiz:Q47897
Lexile: HL700L

Who could do such a thing? Certainly not someone like Devon DavenportÑa straight-A student-athlete with everything going for her. But in a moment of denial, desperation, and sheer panic, she did something that most people couldnÕt even imagine. And now Devon is being charged with attempted murder. In a skillfully crafted story, Amy Efaw takes readers through the days leading up toÑand afterÑDevonÕs crime, painting an unexpected picture of a truly empathetic character caught up in an unimaginable situation.


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