cover image Girls Like Us

Girls Like Us

Randi Pink. Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-15585-6

It’s 1972, and four teenage girls—three, black, in rural Georgia, and one, white, in Chicago—confront unwanted pregnancies before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal. When her older sister, Ola, misses her period, Izella, 15, convinces her to visit Mrs. Mac, an elderly “seer,” to end her pregnancy. The sisters’ predicament is complicated because their preacher mother, Evangelist, has been highly critical of a neighbor, Missippi, 14, who is also pregnant following sexual assault by her uncle (“I feel like that baby gone wind up raised in a house of hell with all kind of sin and debauchery”). When Missippi’s father, a long-haul trucker, moves his daughter to a Chicago home for pregnant teens run by the saintly Ms. Pearline, she meets Sue, 17, whose father is a conservative U.S. senator. The story bounces among each girl’s story (with chapter titles that announce how far each is into her pregnancy), culminating in a tragic ending for one and a pledge among the others to remain lifelong friends. An epilogue catches readers up to the young women as adults. Though some plot elements don’t add up, Pink (Into White) offers a timely, sobering account of the reality women faced before abortion was made legal. Ages 13–up. [em](Oct.) [/em]