Coming of age, Fiction, Johnson-Angela, Romantic Fiction, Young Adult

#584 The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

The First Part Last by Angela JohnsonThe First Part Last by Angela Johnson

Bobby is young, sixteen, and he goes to school, but he also takes care of a baby, his baby, by himself. Bobby had been a fairly good kid and so had his girlfriend. Neither of the families were poor and Bobby had more privileges than most, but Nia still ended up pregnant. These days, Bobby spends his nights up with a baby. He changes her, feeds her, and burps her. He gets worried when she is sick.

Bobby had been a normal kid, but he had to grow up too fast. Having a baby affects his schoolwork and his life. He doesn’t get a lot of help from his parents. He does it all on his own.

Nia is still around, in a manner of speaking, but she’s not the same. The baby, Feather, will probably never know her mother. Bobby made a conscious decision not to give her up for adoption and decided to raise her on his own.

What I liked

Bobby is responsible. That’s what I liked. You will not find many teenagers with the responsibility that Bobby has. Bobby made mistakes, but worked through them and took responsibility for his actions.

All in all, the baby probably would have been better off with an adoptive family, but Bobby turned himself into a loving father more responsible than many men older than he is.

What I didn’t like

Bobby is missing out by not giving the baby up for adoption. He’s missing out on having a normal young adult life, but he’s also gaining a ton of experience and responsibility in the real world. I salute him, as a character, for being responsible enough to raise a baby instead of goofing off and pretending that it’s not serious.

The book was a bit confusing to read. It hopped back and forth in time and had almost an ethereal quality to the story. It seemed as if the story was wafting around instead of being solidly written.


If you’re a teenager and you get someone pregnant, either give that baby up for adoption or be responsible. Don’t just say you’re going to be responsible then ruin a child’s life.

Weigh In

What do you think about teenage pregnancy?

Did Bobby do the right thing?


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