Every Little Thing in the World
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About the Author
"-- Gillian Engberg, "" BOOKLIST, "March 15, 2010
Sixteen-year-old Sydney has just learned that a casual fling has left her pregnant ("I hadn't felt like I knew him well enough to remind him about the condom issue"). When Sydney's best friend Natalia steals her mother's car to take Sydney to confront the father, the girls are caught, and Sydney's father signs Sydney up for a one-month canoe trip to help her rethink her life's direction. And Sydney does plenty of thinking, even after Natalia finagles her way onto the wilderness trip, which comes with some physical and emotional highs and lows. Sydney's turmoil about the pregnancy (she's kept it from her parents and plans to have an abortion when she returns) is realistic and well plotted; she faces added pressure from Natalia who, after revelations about her own birth circumstances, partly sees herself in Sydney's baby. Sydney's complex relationships with her single mother and idealistic but distant father are authentic and poignant. In her first novel for teens, de Gramont ably captures Sydney's reflective journey from a passive girl to a young woman ready to make the biggest decision of her life. Ages 14-up. "(March 1, 2010) - Publishers Weekly"
A deft and poignant exploration of reproductive choices. In spite of informative sex-education classes at her private school in New Jersey, 16-year-old Sydney Biggs gets pregnant with a boy she barely knows from a nearby, less-affluent town. Her best friend, the "lean, sleek, and raven-haired" Natalia Miksa, is the only one she tells. When the girls are caught by the police for ostensibly stealing Natalia's parents' car to sneak out to a party, Sydney's angry and worried mother sends her to live with her rigid (anti-processed-food) father, who thinks that a month at a wilderness adventure camp, canoeing on a lake in Ontario, will be good for her. She's part of a group of eight campers, including Natalia, a tattooed "Youth at Risk" and two young counselors. De Gramont's compelling coming-of-age story, often poetic, compassionately probes the dilemma of and complex choices surrounding Sydney's pregnancy. As told from Sydney's point of view in an authentic adolescent voice, her growing self-awareness of "what's discovered after losing your way" is both moving and hopeful. (Fiction. 14 & up)