17 -year-old Sophie is starting her senior year with a big secret. She’s pregnant. This would be difficult enough, but she and all her friends are conservative Christians. She is terrified of what they will think of her. The father, a college boy who also goes to her church, had a fling with her while they were both counselors at a Christian summer camp. To make things worse, her best friend, her minister’s daughter, has a huge crush on him. Sophie is terrified. She is now the editor of her school paper. She uses her journalistic skills to investigate a center at her high school for pregnant teens. This experience helps her make her own decisions.
Sophie’s story is compelling but not preachy. The values the author wants to convey are there, but I didn’t feel pounded over the head with them. Sophie feels ashamed because of what her family and friends will think of her situation, but also of what God will think. Her relationship with God is very tender and real and her need to distince herself from him during her stuggle is very painful for her. It is a very quick read.
Discussing with teens may be difficult because of the religious nature of the book. I wouldn’t recommend using this in a public library or public school setting. If you do feel this book is appropriate for your teens, here are a few discussion ideas.
Sophie takes an absinence pledge. Do you feel this kind of pledge is effective for teens?
What is the best way to handle teen pregnancy? Should more be taught in the schools? Birth control education?
Sophie felt duped by Dylan. She trusted him and thought he loved her. How should she handle that situation?
Teenage pregnancy is in the media a lot lately. Some examples, Bristol Palin, the character of Quinn on the TV Glee and the movie Juno. How are these situations different (besides Bristol being the only real person mentioned?) What message do they convey to teens today?
How does Sophie’s religion influence her choices?
Talk about the teens at the pregnancy center. How do they differ with Sophie? Do they differ at all?