Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review of Plan B by Charnan Simon

Title: Plan B 
Author: Charnan Simon
Published by: Lerner Classroom
Pages: 104
Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Rating: 2.5/5

From GoodreadsIs this happily ever after? Lucy has her life planned out: she'll graduate and then join her boyfriend, Luke, at college in Austin. She'll become a Spanish teacher and of course they'll get married. So there's no reason to wait, right? They try to be careful. But then Lucy gets pregnant. Now, none of Lucy's options are part of her picture-perfect plan. Together, she and Luke will have to make the most difficult decision of their lives.

This is a very short novel that I read in one setting.  This novel deals with the topic of teen pregnancy.  While this is a heavy issue, I thought the author did a good job at keeping it realistic.  It went over Lucy's feelings and how both her boyfriend, Luke, and her mother reacted when she told them the news.  It covered all of Lucy options in a way that discussed them and the difficulty in making the decision without being preachy.

I had some issue with the novel when I first started reading it.  The writing was very simple and often felt like it left out details or that the chapters would just end.  I also felt like there wasn't much charater development.

I decided to look into the novel a little more and found out it was part of a series of books called Surviving Southside.  This series features urban fiction novels dealing with teen issues, both good and bad.  They are written at a fouth-grade reading level and meant for readers who read below grade level or are ESL/ELL. 

I think it's awesome that their are novels out their dealing with serious issues and written in a way that all students can understand.  I'm glad that students who have trouble reading get to read about people their age instead of practicing reading on picture books.   

That being said I think it was a great novel for it's purpose.  Now that I understand what the purpose of the series was about I think I would have enjoyed the novel more when I originally read it.


  1. Thank you for the review, it looks really interesting. I'm glad you mentioned what you did about the reading level, that will be a big help in understanding the writing style.

  2. This sounds like a much needed novel. I'd love to see more stuff on the subject dealing with all kinds of decisions for all kinds of reasons (in a non preachy, but realistic way). Great review!

  3. I had a really difficult time with this book. I understand about the simplistic writing style and thank you for bringing the fact that it was written ideally for ESL readers to my attention.

    My main concern with this book was the content. I really think that this book dangerously over-simplified teen pregnancy. I am a childbirth educator and just have a very difficult time with anything that takes such a casual view of teen pregnancy. This book was just not realistic in any way and makes it sound as though everthing will "just work out" in a day or two...


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