Detour for Emmy
Detour for Emmy
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Annotation: Emmy, whose future had once looked so bright, struggles to overcome the isolation and depression brought about by being a teen mother who gets little support from her family or the father of her child.
Catalog Number: #6065054
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 259 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-929777-05-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-929777-05-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 93000657
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Emmy's mother is an alcoholic; her beloved brother is in trouble with the law; and her father is long gone. But in high school, Emmy is a straight A student, a soccer star, and lead soprano in the choir, and she attracts an absolute hunk, upperclassman boyfriend, who's also going places. Although they have sex on a regular basis, they always use protection--except for one night. When Art finds out Emmy is pregnant, he denies he's the father and breaks up with her. Emmy, who sees having the baby as the only way she'll ever have someone who will love her back, resists the pressure to have an abortion. She faces her mother's anger, prejudice at school, the fear and pain of pregnancy, and the burdens of caring for the child--and manages to get her life back on track. The story might be a clich{‚}e, but, unfortunately, it is a relevant clich{‚}e for the many teen mothers who live it every year. Writing in an appealing conversational style, Reynolds adds plenty of interesting plot elements to keep the pages turning. The characters, especially Emmy as first-person narrator, are well-drawn, complex, and believable. Stereotypes are confronted and disposed of through thoughtful introspection. Emmy's road is rocky enough to be a deterrent for girls who are not in her position, yet inspirational enough to provide hope for those who are. (Reviewed Oct. 1, 1993)
Horn Book
This novel does a good job of making the reader relate to Emmy and her unwanted teenage pregnancy. Although the mission of the plot is obvious, as the text explores love, pregnancy, rejection, the struggle to survive and to get an education, the lessons are well integrated into the story line.
Kirkus Reviews
From a publisher known for nonfiction on pregnancy and parenting for teen parents, a novel detailing one single mother's experiences from her first date with Art, in ninth grade, through giving birth at 16 and later completing community college. Reynolds, who works with teens in an alternative school, crams the story with nitty-gritty problems and outcomes, plainly intended to instruct. Remarkably, though the specifics are overabundant for a work of fiction and the first chapters read much like a case study, Emmy ultimately engages with her intelligence and perseverance and by the integrity of her choices—e.g., she refuses abortion after she feels her baby move; she fights to give little Rosemary a chance to know Art's family, but gives up on Art himself when he proves to be self- centered and immature. The author explores a maximum number of issues: the need for sex education; roles of dysfunctional families; limits babies place on their young parents; continuing education (Emmy's lucky to be a Californian); setting new goals; teachers' prejudices; etc. Her conclusion (``I just started...Cal State L.A.'') is a best-case, if hard-won, outcome. Still, the many dynamics here are right on target, and readers will root for Emmy while picking up plenty of solid, sobering information. Then, steer them on to Wolff's Make Lemonade (p. 670) and Doherty's Dear Nobody (1992)—two powerful, beautifully written books on the same topic, and just as accessible and authentic. (Fiction. 12-16)"
School Library Journal
Gr 8-12-- Emmy's carefree days are enlivened by friends, time at the beach, anticipation of the new school year, and dreams of college. Longing for the affection and understanding that she doesn't get at home, Emmy is propelled into the arms of overachiever, chorus star, and school hero Arturo. Art promises that he will never hurt her, and their sexual relationship proceeds idyllically and explicitly, complete with birth control. One night, they make love without protection; as a result, Emmy finds herself on a detour from carefully laid academic plans to the road of teen pregnancy and single motherhood. The hardship, tedium, and responsibility of parenting and the pain of deferred dreams provide a strong, if sometimes didactic, message to sexually active YAs. The story is predictable, but compelling. Unfortunately, one-dimensional characters, tiresome language, loose plotting, and a weak ending detract from the book. Berlie Doherty's Dear Nobody (Orchard, 1992) confronts many of the same issues with more subtlety, finer writing, and fully fleshed-out, thoughtful characters. But most teenagers know or will meet an Emmy and will fervently hope not to be diverted by similar obstacles on the road to growing up. --Alice Casey Smith, Lakewood Public Library, NJ
Word Count: 76,004
Reading Level: 4.4
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.4 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 15825 / grade: Upper Grades
Lexile: 730L
Guided Reading Level: Z+
Fountas & Pinnell: Z+

In the 9th grade, Emmy is an A student, a soccer star, and a lead soprano in the school choir. She won't let her alcoholic mother or her father, long gone, stand in her way. Emmy falls for Art, a junior who is also one of the choir's lead singers. Art is a dream of a boyfriend until Emmy finds that she's pregnant. Then he wants nothing to do with her. Her mother is furious and wants her to have an abortion. Her guidance counselor claims that Emmy's life will be ruined, and only one of her friends tries to stand by her. But what does Emmy want, and what about her dreams, if she chooses a new life as a single mother?

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