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WHO AM I WITHOUT HIM? by Sharon G. Flake Kirkus Star

WHO AM I WITHOUT HIM?

Short Stories About Girls and the Boys in Their Lives

By Sharon G. Flake

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7868-0693-1
Publisher: Disney-Jump at the Sun

A collection of short stories focused on the way teens get caught up in the need to be a part of a couple for identity in today’s world. Most of the stories are told from the female perspective, but not all. In fact, the last entry is really a letter from a father who has not been a part of his daughter’s life. Daddy tells his daughter what boys are really like, and what he wishes her mother had known years ago when they were together. Each story has a strength and point of view different from the others. The result of all the stories together is more than the sum of their parts, but a call to both sexes to think and respect each other more. Fortunately, Flake’s handling of her theme is not didactic and paternalistic, but shines with an awareness of the real-life social, emotional, and physical pressures that teens feel about dating. Characters are vividly present, as each story seems to jump into life exploring not just the sexual tension, but race and class as well. Honest and valuable. (Fiction. YA)