Baby Help
Baby Help
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Annotation: Because her partner continues to abuse her, seventeen-year-old Melissa takes their young child and goes to a shelter for battered women where she begins the healing process.
Catalog Number: #4572714
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 1998
Edition Date: 1998
Pages: 192
Availability: Out of Print
ISBN: 1-88535-627-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-88535-627-7
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Being a teen mom, living with your boyfriend and his mother, and trying to finish high school are even more difficult when your boyfriend is physically and verbally abusive and his mother claims it's your fault. This is Melissa Fisher's life--a life she accepts until boyfriend Rudy begins the same abusive patterns with two-year-old Cheyenne. True to other books in her Hamilton High series (Too Soon for Jeff 1994, among others), Reynolds carefully explores the problem of partner abuse, guiding Melissa through the complexities of identifying the problem, exploring ways to escape its destructive effects, and facing the reality of living with its solution. Although she occasionally verges on the didactic, Reynolds understands Melissa's dilemma: her need for love and support and a dad for Cheyenne, the pull to return to the patterns and security of old ways, and the legal ramifications of escaping them. Good parenting techniques are incorporated naturally into the narration. (Reviewed February 1, 1998)
Horn Book
In the latest Ruby Raccoon book, Ruby wakes up expecting to have a perfect day, but one by one her friends say they're too busy to hang out with her. Ultimately, it is a perfect day--"for being all by myself!" This tribute to self-reliance has substance beneath its deceptively simple sentences. The art is sweet and delicate without being too precious.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up--Melissa, a senior at Hamilton High School, lives with her child, the child's father, and his mother. The teen has convinced herself that Rudy's need to control and abuse her isn't really a problem, but when he turns on their daughter, she knows she must get out and get help. As with Reynolds's other titles, this offering is a bit didactic in its intent to raise the consciousness of readers about pertinent personal and social issues. The author is very successful in creating characters that YAs will relate to and be interested in. The plot development successfully depicts the protagonist's growing awareness of her situation. Her gradual understanding of her personal rights and the increasing severity of the abuse are realistic and familiarize readers with both the emotional and practical issues involved. The dialogue is authentic and is more likely to hold the interest of reluctant readers than nonfiction titles on this topic. The title is repeated throughout as the protagonist's baby's expression of the need to do things for herself, a not-so-subtle message that asks young people to stand up for themselves and take charge of their own futures.--Melissa Gross, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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ALA Booklist (Sun Feb 01 00:00:00 CST 1998)
Horn Book (Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2007)
School Library Journal
Word Count: 59,831
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 75555 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:15.0 / quiz:Q54500
Lexile: 740L

Melissa doesn't consider herself abused--Rudy only hits her occasionally when he's drinking--until she realizes the effect his abuse is having on their child. Finally Melissa leaves Rudy, and she and Cheyenne go to the shelter for battered women. As difficulties with group living arise, however, she misses the good times with Rudy. The clarity of Melissa's decision soon fades, and she finds herself again in a dangerous situation, more trapped than ever before.

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