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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Plan B - Charnan Simon

Released March 2011

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

In Plan B, Lucy and Luke are in the last year or two of high school. Luke's a senior; Lucy's a junior. Luke's up for a full scholarship for baseball and Lucy's hoping he gets it. Their plans are to marry. Luke will become a high school coach and Lucy will teach Spanish. Everything's going peachy until they have sex for the first time. Lucy ends up pregnant and they suddenly have to start thinking about a "Plan B."

I've seen far too much teen pregnancy in the past few years for my liking. Both of my neighbor's teens had children at the ages of 15 and 18 and then went on to become pregnant again a year later. Then the popularity of shows like Secret Life of an American Teenager or the reality shows about teen mom's have taken over the airwaves. I really was hoping for an honest picture regarding teen pregnancy with Plan B. In the end, the book is too short to really delve into the risks of pregnancy and the effect it has on your body.

Lucy's mother was a teen mother. I would have expected Lucy to know that skipping protection the first time you have sex most certainly can lead to pregnancy. For the life of me, I can't understand why teens still believe that is true. I've heard my neighbor's kids say it and I still want to smack my head against a wall when I hear teens say it. If any teen is reading this -- YOU CAN become pregnant the first time. You can also become pregnant if you're on the pill or using a condom. It lessens the chance, yes, but there is still that slim margin for failure!

If you're expecting a long book, look elsewhere. I was kind of surprised by the short length given the subject matter. It's just a little over 100 pages. Plan B took very little time to read. If your child is required to read a number of books before the school year ends, it may not even qualify. My daughter is required to read books over 180 pages for them to count towards her required number in eighth grade. Books of this length are what's required for the fourth and fifth graders.

The writing style is enjoyable and the message is necessary in today's world. I wish the book had been longer though. Even my 14 year old felt the book was too short. She wanted to know what the teens really decided for themselves, not just what their parents wanted them to do. This is just one book in the Surviving Southside series, but it appears each book involves a different student. I'm not sure Lucy and Luke will appear in other stories.

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