UNDER THREAT by Robin Stevenson
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Out of the mouths of teens come a most succinct and unabashed argument for reproductive rights. 

Stevenson offers the argument from the book’s main character, 17-year-old Franny Green, whose parents, Heather and Hugh Green, work as abortion providers at a hospital. An anti-abortion activist threatens Heather and Hugh at home and at work and even harasses Franny. Due to a bomb threat, Heather decides to go to the press to ask the community for leads. This worries Franny, because she’s never told the religiously conservative mother of her girlfriend, Leah, what her parents do, even though Leah’s mom accepts her daughter’s sexual orientation. When Leah, who also has mixed feelings about abortion, and Franny argue about Heather’s and Hugh’s profession, Franny responds: “Women have a right to control their bodies. Abortion is legal. We’re getting death threats because my parents are doctors providing care to women who need it.” Though the author offers such openly pro-abortion and pro-gay stances throughout the book, she doesn’t preach to readers but allows the conversations to organically arise in familiar circumstances, such as a lovers’ quarrel or a family discussing the meaning of safety. Unfortunately, the cover art, with its erotically charged female-appearing lips a whisper apart from each other, undercuts the story and the message.

Cover aside, a smart, realistic, fast-paced piece of fiction for teens. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4598-1131-7
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Orca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2016


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