Johnson, Angela. The First Part Last. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003.
Bobby is a typical teenager but everything changes for him when he finds out his girlfriend Nia is pregnant. Each chapter alternates between the present and the past. In the past, Bobby is finding out Nia is pregnant, telling their parents, and deciding what to do with this baby. In the present, Bobby is raising the child on his own, with no help, aside from his mother allowing him to live in her apartment. He exeperiences times when he wishes his life could go back to normal, and wishes he could get a full night's sleep.
This book is the recepient of the Coretta Scott King award and also the Michael Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, both through the American Library Association. The author, Angela Johnson, is one of the best African American YA writers today. She won the Coretta Scott King award twice before this most recent win. This is a great book not just because it won some awards; it is great because it is realistic and well-written. The thoughts, feelings, and actions of Bobby are realistic and readers will identify with his even if they have not gone through this situation themselves. There is a twist at the end, too, that the reader will never suspect.