Gaby Rodriguez with Jenna Glatzer
Simon & Schuster. 2012
Reviewer obtained a copy from publisher.
(Grades 8 and up)
There have been numerous books, both fiction and nonfiction, written about teens trying to overcome their family patterns. It is nice to read a success story for a change. The story of Gaby Rodriguez and why she pretended to be pregnant for a high school project is the subject of this inspiring memoir. Rodriguez has attracted a lot of media attention, something she never expected. Now in college, Gaby stopped the cycle of teen pregnancy that was prevalent in her family because of her intellect and determination. Her memoir, written with the help of professional writer Jenna Glatzer, has even sparked a Lifetime network movie.
Gaby was in seventh grade when her mother explained how young she had been when she became pregnant. “I always knew my mother had been young when she had her first child, but I never did the math, never realized that she was in middle school. And when she first told me she had Nievitas at fifteen, I assumed she meant she got pregnant when she was fifteen. Then she corrected me and said she got pregnant when she was fourteen, and for some reason that pushed it over the edge for me.” Her mother would go on to have seven children during her turbulent sixteen-year marriage. Five years after her divorce, at age thirty-five, after becoming a grandmother when her first child, Nievitas at age twenty gave birth to a daughter, Gaby’s mother became a mother again…with Gaby.
Gaby intertwines background information about her family with her reasons for choosing this particular project idea. The purpose of the senior project was “a chance for students to work on a skill that would be valuable in their careers, to help them prepare for life after graduation.” Gaby wanted her project to have a real impact on her fellow students. She wanted “to find an opportunity for growth, both for me and for the people around me. The statistics told me that my classmates’ families were a lot like mine – full of broken homes, teen pregnancy, poverty, and a lack of education.” Gaby wanted to come up with an idea that would reflect her community, while making a big impression. Gaby was fortunate to have so many people that supported her: her mother, teachers, siblings, and, especially, her boyfriend.
How would faking a pregnancy do that? You must read The Pregnancy Project to find out. The writing rambles a bit, but the essence of Gaby’s story, her hard work and the ingenious way she changed her life is inspiring. This book would be useful as a class project. It will appeal to girls and boys.
For more information about Gaby, her movie, and to read the LIfetime interview with Gaby, click here.