School Library Journal
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Gr 8 Up-Fifteen-year-old Devon Davenport lies on the sofa mindlessly watching morning TV. She is in physical pain, and her only recourse is to mentally disconnect. Suddenly her life turns upside down and she is left wondering what happened. Why is she being charged with attempted murder? Through a series of conversations with her court-appointed attorney, Devon begins to uncover deep-seated resentments and awaken to the fact that she had been pregnant, has given birth to a baby, and thrown the infant into a Dumpster. Devon begins as an unsympathetic character who grows, giving readers a better understanding of her choices. This is a skillfully written, emotionally raw story detailing one girl's difficult journey from denial of her circumstances to acceptance and redemption.-Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Efaw assigns herself a seemingly impossible task creating sympathy for a teen mother who tosses her newborn baby into a trash bin yet somehow pulls it off in this successful button pusher. Devon is a sophomore soccer star charged with the unsavory crime, and the story picks up with the police doing a routine search for clues and finding Devon covered with blood. But it's not from a really bloody period, as she claims, and soon she is plunged into a juvenile holding system while her lawyer, the take-charge Dominique, tries to draw out information in an attempt to avoid an attempted murder charge in adult court. Devon has blocked out most of the event, and her continued denial provides gradual elucidation into how she could have disavowed her entire pregnancy. Efaw's depiction of the actual birth comes in bits and pieces, and is rightfully disturbing. The pace mires somewhat in the drawn-out legal proceedings, but there's no doubt that Efaw humanizes Devon an effort that will repel or enlighten readers, depending on their individual predilections.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2009 Booklist
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According to the author's note, "approximately one baby is abandoned to a trash can every day in the United States." This "dumpster baby" phenomenon is the subject of Efaw's (Battle Dress) chilling sophomore novel. For optimal (if expected) shock effect, the perceived heartless mother, 15-year-old Devon Davenport, is a poster child overachiever-star goalie for the soccer team, exceptional student, well-liked by all. But when she becomes pregnant, her carefully chiseled world turns in on itself. Fueled by a mixture of intense denial about her predicament and disgust at her behavior, Devon tries to absolve herself of what happened "That Night" by pretending "IT" (how Devon refers to the baby throughout) never happened. The result-and the subsequent story of her arrest and prosecution-is harrowing, if melodramatic at times. The scenes between Devon, portrayed as a frozen and shattered victim of her own choices and background, and her lawyer, Dom (especially during the trial), are strong and resonate like the best courtroom dramas. It's an emotionally wrenching story that will keep readers' attention through its surprising conclusion. Ages 12-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved