Holding on to Zoe

by George Ella Lyon

There is something not quite right about teenage mother Jules from the beginning... read more

There is something not quite right about teenage mother Jules from the beginning of George Ella Lyon’s novel. It’s not just that her life—working in a factory while trying to raise her baby—is such a challenge, it’s also that she thinks of her baby daughter, Zoe, as “the answer to everything.” Jules feels so needy, and somewhat nebulous, in a way that is unsettling. A few chapters in, Lyon blows the plot wide open with a revelation that transforms this from a tale of teen pregnancy and parenting to one about the emotional and psychological trauma of abuse. Jules is delusional, and her journey through psychosis is both compelling and deeply disturbing as she struggles to come to terms with her past and, with help, realizes that there are people in the real world who love and care about her. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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