Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Plot Summary:
Devon Davenport is an all-around student who has a lot going for her. Despite her lousy upbringing, and irresponsible mother, Devon does the best she can to take care of herself and her future. However, when the incident occurred on "That Night," Devon needs more than her mother--she needs a time machine. After being arrested for abandoning her child, Devon is devastated and scared. Moreover, in juvenile detention, Devon constantly thinks that she is not like any of the other detainees because she is a good person who has never done anything illegal and is a model student. However, the flashbacks of her time with him are becoming stronger as she looks back on the brief moment with him. How could she not know that she was pregnant? Why hasn't it sunk in that what she did was a crime? Is she really capable of murder? All of these questions haunt Devon during her time in Juvenile Hall, but, at the same time, it is during these moments that Devon slowly learns more about herself and that with every decision comes consequences.

Critical Evaluation:
After is an incredibly compelling of a teenager who did the mos unspeakable thing: she threw her baby away in a dumpster. As an adult, reading this story, it was very hard for me to read because all I could see was a scared little girl who did something very bad. Moreover, her mother is self-centered and lacks common sense, which conveys that she should have never had her child. However, Devon's attitude, at times, not only shows her naivety, but it angers readers because she just doesn't get could she do that to her child? As the story unfolds, not only will readers learn about Devon, but the circumstances that led to this terrible decision. Not a lot of stories like this one are available for teens to read, but, nevertheless, it is a powerful tool that teens can learn valuable lessons such as forgiveness, trusting others, and not being afraid to talk to someone in times of need. Although this is a heart-wrenching story, Devon makes a decision that will not only free her from this nightmare, but lead her down the path to salvation.

Information about the Author:
Amy Efaw was born on September 27, 1967 in Oak Park, Illinois. In her website, she informs readers that she had a difficult childhood where her parents would fight and the police showed up from time to time. Amy was able to deal with all of the moments by applying to the United State Military Academy at West Point; Amy decided to apply to West Point because she knew famous heroes such as Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant graduated from this establishment and because she was a Civil War fan after her grandfather gave her a copy of  Gone With the Wind. Ultimately, besides wanting to step in the shoes of famous military leaders, she has no idea what she was getting herself into. While taking as many courses as she could, and enduring the harshness of training, Amy immersed herself in engineering courses and sports. In fact, she met her husband, a fellow classmate, and they were married a year after graduation, right before they were shipped off to Germany to fulfill their five-year enlistment. However, then months later, she was expecting her first trial and it was the beginning of the Gulf War. Thankfully, she was not deployed so she had two children and no longer on active duty. Amy Efaw spends her time writing and spending time with her family.

Teen Contemporary Fiction

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to After:
  Awards & Recognition:
  • Starred Review from School Library Journal (9/1/2009)
 Suggested Links:
To find information about the "Safe Surrender" law, please check out some of these links. Remember, things like this happen, but it is always important to seek help before making any decision that could bring dire consequences. 

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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