________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 10. . . .November 5, 2010.


Dear Diary, I’m Pregnant: Ten Real Life Stories.

Anrenée Englander.
Toronto, ON: Annick, 1997/2010.
159 pp., pbk. & hc, $11.95 (pbk.), $21.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-236-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-237-9 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Teenage pregnancy-Juvenile literature.
Pregnant schoolgirls-Interviews-Juvenile literature.
Teenage pregnancy.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Betsy Fraser.





I just want people to know that they’re not alone. Having a baby isn’t going to end your life, although the TV sure makes it seems like it. The media makes us teenagers look like we can’t do anything right. It depends on how you are and how you want to be – that’s how you’re going to be with your child. If you want to party every day, then obviously you’re going to have to stop because your first concern is supposed to be your child. I think that’s the only thing that’s going to make your decision a little bit different: how your lifestyle is.

Anrenée Englander points out in the preface to this revised edition of Dear Diary that in the nineteen years since she developed its premise and the nine years since the first edition, several things have not changed. Teenagers are still finding themselves facing the same conflicting feelings upon discovering that they are pregnant; it is still a good thing to know that others have gone through the same conundrum; and “little has changed for those who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy.”

     This edition presents interviews with 10 girls. Before each interview, Englander provides the reader with a bit of the girl’s story and background as to where the interviews took place. The girls present their stories in first-person accounts. Their situations vary, as do the decisions they make upon finding out that they are pregnant.

     The girls’ backgrounds and their stories vary widely. One girl gets pregnant on her first sexual experience, while another is raped. The girls grapple with whether or not to give up their child for adoption, have an abortion or keep their child.

     In each case, these decisions have long-lasting effects that will resonate with readers. Readers will find a list of resources at the back of the book that includes emergency resources and health clinics in the U.S. and Canada, as well as books with information about pregnancy. The reality of an unplanned pregnancy and the consequences it had for the girls who needed to make a decision about what to do is an important and relevant item for collections in public and school libraries.


Highly Recommended.

Betsy Fraser is a Community Outreach Librarian in Calgary, AB, and the author of Reality Rules: A Guide to Teen Nonfiction Reading Interests.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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