Today’s Friday Fiction is from the wonderful Eve Bunting. I used to read her stuff back in the 1970s (and I bet Holly read a bunch in the 80s). She is a staple for any library collection. I started poking through this one and actually read almost half before I took a break. It is still pretty compelling stuff.
Our teen protagonist, Cassie, is standing by while her mother becomes a surrogate for a childless couple. Cassie is pretty mortified and her “friends” essentially call Cassie’s mom a slut. All this is going on while Cassie is navigating a relationship with an older boy, struggling to find herself as an artist, and considering her future. In 1984, the topic of surrogacy was still controversial and rather new. As a counterpoint to the main plot, one of Cassie’s friends has two abortions and is in a relationship with a complete loser who is essentially using her for sex.
Today’s Friday Fiction is a cautionary tale about getting married too young. Lori, a child of divorce, is planning to get married after high school graduation and really start being an adult. Lucky for her, the Econ class she has is going to do a simulated marriage so the teens can see what is really involved. Then reality hits. Decisions! Life goals! Priorities! Lori finds out that perfect boy Garrick isn’t as great as she thought. By the end of the book, Lori has figured out quite a bit about her future and decides not to get married (for real) to poor Garrick.
The book wasn’t bad, and I am sure I would have read it in heartbeat when I was in high school. But hey, these kids are almost my contemporaries!
Submitter: I will be keeping this book, not in the circulating collection, but as an example of why we need to weed. This was in the fiction collection at a middle school library, rammed in some very full bookshelves. Funny, it never seems to have circulated.
Holly: Excellent idea! Teen fiction has a fairly short shelf life. It is a huge industry with a lot being published these days. Unless it circulates, which Submitter says it hasn’t, there’s no real reason to keep it. Spoiler alert: the character’s Dad is most definitely a drunk.