November Blues

Common Sense Media says

Gritty, honest look at teen pregnancy. Teens and up.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 
Coretta Scott King Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Educational value

Inspired parents or teachers may want to discuss some of the book's plot. On the author's Web site, readers can find discussion questions to help them delve more deeply into the plot. Teen fans may want to read the other two books in this series.

Positive messages

This is a realistic portrayal of a teen pregnancy and parenthood, and readers will get a good look at the difficulties November now faces in her life. 

Positive role models

November is surrounded by supportive friends, teachers, and parents. She herself grows through her experience -- she made a mistake, and seriously changed the course of her life, but learns to accept this.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

The main character is a pregnant teen. References to having unprotected sex, a clinical description of conception, prenatal doctor exams, a childbirth scene, discussion of abortion, a pregnant 12-year-old.

Language

"Hell" and "damn" a few times.

Consumerism

Lots of products and brands mentioned approvingly: foods, soft drinks, candy, electronics, fast food restaurants, clothing, shoes, department stores.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Not glamorized: A character is caught selling drugs to elementary school children, a teacher smells of cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a realistic portrayal of a teen pregnancy and parenthood, and readers will get a good look at the difficulties November now faces in her life. As books about teen pregnancy go, this one is pretty mild -- no sex scenes, and no glossing over the difficulties. There are references to having unprotected sex, a clinical description of conception, prenatal doctor exams, a childbirth scene, discussion of abortion, and a pregnant 12-year-old.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In The Battle of Jericho, Josh dies in a hazing accident. Now his girlfriend, 16-year-old November, is pregnant with his baby. The story follows the course of her pregnancy, and of November and her friends coming to terms with Josh's death.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This sequel to The Battle of Jericho can be read on its own -- it's much better than its predecessor. Author Sharon Draper's attempts at teen dialect are still embarrassingly awkward (she should just delete from her author's lexicon "she's all that and a bag of chips" right now), but they are less intrusive here, and more than balanced by a much more real and believable story.

That story also has a powerful emotional center that the previous book lacked. Draper clearly gets girls much better than boys, and from the moment that November's contractions begin, the web of relationships that has been carefully built up from the start comes to the forefront, and makes the rest of the book breathtakingly moving. The ending is unresolved, which may mean the author plans another book. But even if not, the refusal to tie everything up neatly was still the right way to go.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this book being part of a series. Did you know that it is the sequel to The Battle of Jericho? Do you plan to read Just Another Hero, which focuses on a despised character from the other two books?

  • What is rewarding about reading a series? What might be fun about writing one? Why are publishers interested in printing them?

  • This book won the Coretta Scott King Honor from the American Library Association. This award is given recognize African-American authors and illustrators. Looking at the list of previous winners, are there other books you'd like to read? Why is an award like this important?

  • Does it make any difference to you if a book has won an award? Do you think it makes a difference to schools or libraries, as they make decisions about what to add to the collection?

Book details

Author:Sharon M. Draper
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Atheneum
Publication date:October 1, 2007
Number of pages:316
Publisher's recommended age(s):12
Award:Coretta Scott King Medal and Honors

This review of November Blues was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bytayaboo April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

i loved this book

this book had me in tears at the end of the bbok b/c i thought sunshine was going to die but she didnt. this book made me think not to have unprotected sex b/c i cant take care of no baby
Teen, 16 years old Written byyesii ortiz October 11, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

helpful advice

this is the best book yet!! i think that this book is helpful to younger readers. this book also helps them understand any situation.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byladywidcat44 September 23, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Knowledge

i think this is good for your teens to read. If they are sexually active you should tell them this could happen to them.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex

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