Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Star in the Middle

Sometimes it’s sad how many good books are overlooked by the public eye. I came across a powerful YA book recently, called Star in the Middle by Carol Larese Millward. It’s sad that not many people will come across this book by a small publishing company. It deals with something that is always in the headlines: teen pregnancy. Don’t write this off as just another book about a teenage girl and a baby. It has a special twist that sets it apart.

The book is told from multiple viewpoints. The teen mother, Star and teen father, Wilson alternate chapters explaining their story as the novel unfolds. I was surprised at how accurately Millward was able to depict a teen mother’s experience. But then looking back at her bio, I realized that she worked as a Parent Educator in the past with teen parents.

The story pulled me in with the ambiguity of the situation and the richness of the characters. Star lives with her grandmother and her baby. There is obvious tension in their relationship that continues throughout the novel. The reason for this tension isn’t fully explained until the end. Wilson is also an interesting character as he tries to separate himself from the story. He comes off as a jerk in the beginning and Millward leaves it up to the reader to judge him at the conclusion of the story. Full of delicious teen drama, this book held my attention to the very last page. Which is not very easy to do, since normally I read mostly picture books.

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