Monday, May 12, 2014

A Review of 'Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant: Ten Real Life Stories' by Anrenee Englander

"Chosen by the New York Public Library's 'Books for the Teen Age' list and hailed by 'The Globe and Mail' for its '...frank, revealing and brave conversations,' this is a must-read book for young women looking for reassurance that they are not alone.

In poignant and insightful interviews, Anrenee Englander presents the voices of 10 pregnant teens as they discuss their experiences and choices around motherhood, adoption and abortion.  First published to critical acclaim in 1997, this new edition updates the original interviews and includes a new introduction and a new resources section.

Presenting different points of view, 'Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant' is a nonjudgmental source of information for all teens that provides support and guidance for those who find themselves in this difficult situation."

I'm not sure what possessed me to pick up this book in the first place, but I did and I'm glad that I read it.  While I don't have to face such a big challenge as being pregnant and having to make this decision so young in life, I can recognize that this could be an incredible resource for young people in the world (well, at least in the United States and Canada, since that's where the resources section directs you).  I want to have this book in my classroom someday.  I'm planning to teach at the middle or high school level, where teen pregnancy is not super common (you don't see every girl walking around campus pregnant, for sure), but it's definitely a thing.  Sexuality is being worked out, experimentation occurs, and sometimes accidents happen.  This book is great because it not only lays out your choices, but you're reading the stories of girls/women who were pregnant as teenagers.  You can read about what their experiences were and why they made the decision they made.  You can also learn how they felt afterwards-- if they'd wished they'd kept the baby instead of getting an abortion or if they'd gotten an abortion or put the baby up for adoption instead of keeping it (although I don't think there are any stories where the mother decided to keep the baby and then changed their mind after).

Even if these experiences aren't your own, I think it's still good to read for understanding.  There are too many misconceptions about teen pregnancy and girls who do get pregnant get a lot of crap for being pregnant.  Most of the time, it's an accident and the girl in question has to make a huge decision that will change the rest of her life.  I feel like I realized that before reading this book, but these personal accounts just reinforces what I only thought I knew before.

When I'm a teacher, I'm going to create a resources shelf that isn't related to school at all and this book is going to be on that shelf.

I give 'Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant':
Thanks for Reading!


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