Thursday, November 10, 2011

After by Amy Efaw

It’s 7am and Devon is lying on the couch instead of getting ready for high school when her mom comes home from her graveyard shift. Devon says she isn’t feeling well and her mom doesn’t wonder if she’s faking it. A few moments later a knock at the door causes her mom to usher a police officer inside their home. The police officer is seeking information regarding a newborn baby that was found in the trash next to their apartment complex earlier that morning. He pulls back the blanket covering Devon and discovers her blood seeping through her clothes and onto the couch beneath. Devon is quickly arrested and charged with attempted murder, among other things. The prosecution request that Devon be tried as an adult for her heinous crime. Efaw’s novel is a harrowing read for a new parent. Students may appreciate the psychological state of shock and Devon’s resilience as she navigates her court dates and incarceration at the juvenile detention center. End notes from the author discuss her seven year journey to pen the novel and the research she did on the subject of mothers abandoning newborns provide real-life context.--Jessica Fenster-Sparber

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