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FACT OF LIFE #31 by Denise Vega

FACT OF LIFE #31

By Denise Vega

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 13th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-84819-3
Publisher: Knopf

High-school junior Kat Flynn loves working after school at her mother’s birthing center where her kindness and compassion make her popular with the expectant mothers. A well-known midwife, Abra is warm and loving with her patients but distant and overbearing with her children, annoying Kat with her insistence on control. While assisting at her first home birth, Kat’s lack of preparation turns the experience into a disaster, setting the stage for her own journey of self-discovery. The book’s innovative structure—it is divided into the three trimesters of pregnancy—charts Kat’s personal growth. Vega sets the story in Colorado, where vegetarianism, cruelty-free makeup and environmental awareness set the standard for coolness; she lightly touches on abortion, adoption and teen pregnancy without moralizing. In a neatly tied-up ending, Kat makes the decision to become a midwife, like Abra, after delivering a classmate’s baby. Told in Kat’s passionate voice, this coming-of-age novel, with its romantic subplot, snappy dialogue and strong secondary characters, will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen. (Fiction. YA)