juliasandoval59, April 9, 2014 (view all comments by juliasandoval59)
Set in 1990’s New York, Angela Johnson’s Story The First Part Last is about a young teenager named Bobby whos is trying to do the right thing no matter what the cost. Nia, Bobby’s pregnant girlfriend will make decisions about whether or not to keep the baby neither teen planned for.
before Nia was pregnant, Bobby was just living the life of a careless teen. He’s an artist at heart that shares the images in his mind with the world through graffiti. In one part of the story he describes how he feels while he’s painting, “I’m always the pale white ghost boy beside the brown girl who is always looking away.”
in another part of the story, Nia and Bobby are in the doctor’s office discussing the different options that might be best for their situation. The entire time they were there, Bobby did not speak because he knew that Nia’s parents would never let Nia keep the baby no matter what he said. At this point in the story you are not sure if Bobby will ever have a voice when it comes to his child. will art be his only way of communication?
As a writer, Angela Johnson tries to demonstrate responsibility for what are “just in the moment” acts. As a teenager, this book really put it into perspective that every decision we make has a consequence and we have to be able to deal with it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
emmejo, August 25, 2010 (view all comments by emmejo)
Bobby was a classic city boy. He spent his time playing basketball, hanging with his friends, and trying not to get caught graffitiing. All that changes when his girlfriend Nia tells him that she's pregnant. Bobby is determined to do the right thing for his kid and his girl, but how does a 16 year old, who can't even figure out what to do with himself, figure out how to make those kinds of choices?
This short book is a very compelling read. It alternates between what happens after the baby, named Feather, is born and while Nia is pregnant. It doesn't come off preachy or as a morality tale of why teen pregnancy is evil. Bobby's no nonsense, "just the facts" attitude is conveyed well, but so is the fact that he really cares for his daughter and her mother.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
cidrapr95, November 26, 2007 (view all comments by cidrapr95)
To begin with i had first seen this book and i love it and for me a 9th grader im gonna start to read it becuase these are things that could happen to me
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (9 of 19 readers found this comment helpful)
leedamoon, March 21, 2007 (view all comments by leedamoon)
I L-O-V-E this book I read it once in the ninth grade and ever since I've looked everywhere for it until I found it. I just love the way Ms. Johnson wrote this book and I look foward to reading more of her books.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (20 of 26 readers found this comment helpful)
Simon Pulse -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In this companion novel, Johnson's fans learn just how Bobby, the single father for whom Marley baby-sits in Heaven, landed in that small town in Ohio. Beginning his story when his daughter, Feather, is just 11 days old, 16-year-old Bobby tells his story in chapters that alternate between the present and the bittersweet past that has brought him to the point of single parenthood. Each nuanced chapter feels like a poem in its economy and imagery; yet the characters — Bobby and the mother of his child, Nia, particularly, but also their parents and friends, and even newborn Feather — emerge fully formed. Bobby tells his parents about the baby ('Not moving and still quiet, my pops just starts to cry') and contrasts his father's reaction with that of Nia's father ('He looks straight ahead like he's watching a movie outside the loft windows'). The way he describes Nia and stands by her throughout the pregnancy conveys to readers what a loving and trustworthy father he promises to be. The only misstep is a chapter from Nia's point of view, which takes readers out of Bobby's capable hands. But as the past and present threads join in the final chapter, readers will only clamor for more about this memorable father-daughter duo — and an author who so skillfully relates the hope in the midst of pain. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by School Library Journal,
"Brief, poetic, and absolutely riveting, this gem of a novel tells the story of a young father struggling to raise an infant."
"Johnson makes poetry with the simplest words in short, spare sentences that teens will read again and again."
by U.S. News and World Report,
"Johnson has carved a niche writing realistically about young people's issues."
by Publishers Weekly, starred review,
"Readers will only clamor for more."
Bobby's a classic urban teenager. He's restless. He's impulsive. But the thing that makes him different is this: He's going to be a father. His girlfriend, Nia, is pregnant, and their lives are about to change forever. Instead of spending time with friends, they'll be spending time with doctors, and next, diapers. They have options: keeping the baby, adoption. They want to do the right thing.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.