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Ryan, Darlene. Saving Grace.

RYAN, Darlene. Saving Grace. Orca. 97 pages. 2006. 1-55143-508-x. $8.95. JS

Fifteen-year-old Evie is running away with her baby, Brianna, who was renamed Grace by the family who adopted her. But Erie did not want her baby taken away, and now she has her daughter back and she's running to Montreal where she'll become a fashion designer and raise Brianna. Of course, there are complications along the way, and in the end Evie must decide between her desire to keep her child at all costs, or let her be adopted by a family that can give her a better life.

Saving Grace raises many questions about teen parenting and paints an intensely sharp picture of the problems faced by kids who have kids. Two other issues are forced adoptions and parental kidnapping, neither of which is resolved in the novel, but remain open for reader discussion. Ryan crafts her two primary characters, Evie and Justin, Erie's boyfriend, exceptionally well, not only revealing their ignorance of child-rearing but demonstrating that they, too, are still children trying to grow up. No clear-cut answers are provided in this novel; readers are left to consider the situation and come to their own conclusions. Plot, character and themes all interconnect to become a remarkably intense story. Highly recommended for middle and high school readers. Girls will perhaps find the plot more interesting, although boys could benefit from analysis of the characters and further discussion of these themes. Lisa Carlson, MIT, Teacher-Libn, Tyee Ed. Comp., SeaTac, WA

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.
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Author:Carlson, Lisa
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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