Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 24, 2008


Filed under: Look What I'm Reading for Book Club! — jexter1 @ 2:17 pm

Hello All,

I apologize for my absence this past week. Passover and doctors’ appointments hindered my internet/computer access. Anyway, I read two books for this week… well, attempted one and completed another.

The first novel I attempted was PUSH, by Sapphire. Karen recommended for me to read PUSH since my seminar piece is on sexual content in YA lit. She prefaced handing the book over to me by warning that the novel is extremely graphic, contains not just explicit language, but horrid events that a 12 year-old should never have to endure or see. Karen added that this would be too much and too risky for me to give a student, but it is a novel I should be aware of. Unfortunately, I only made it 40 pages in. Despite the sexual content that I have read for my seminar and for Book Club (e.g. BOY TOY, DOING IT, BLOOD and CHOCOLATE, FOREVER, …), I could not handle the content of this novel. The brutality that Precious, a black 12 year-old girl who is pregnant for the second time with her father’s child, goes through was too much for my stomach and heart to handle. This poor girl is abused, neglected, illiterate, socially inept, learning disabled, and so much more (if I had continued to read, I would know what else encompassed her life). This is the first book in graduate school that I absolutely could not force myself to finish. My apologies.




  1. Wow. Jessica, what a strong reaction. Sounds horrific. I heard about this book from many of my students in Brooklyn who read and recommended it (although they did caution me about its graphic nature). Thank you so much for posting about this. I will definitely avoid this book for the time being. Having your perspective on it is really helpful.

    Comment by sostrom — April 24, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  2. Sarah,

    After speaking with Karen about my sentiments on this book, I have decided to give it another try. Since the detailed descriptions of the sexual abuse remind me too much of students of my own, I had trouble reading PUSH. Karen encouraged me to simply skip the portions that are too graphic for my liking, because there is so much more to the novel than the “R-rated” language. I will let you know what I think about PUSH I finish it.


    Comment by jexter1 — April 25, 2008 @ 7:34 am

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