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The Dear One

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  251 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Feni is furious when she finds out that her mother has agreed to take a fifteen-year-old pregnant girl into their home until her baby is born. What kind of girl would let herself get into so much trouble? How can Feni live under the same roof with someone like that? Her worst fears are confirmed when Rebecca arrives: she is mean, bossy, and uneducated. Feni decides she wil ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 19th 2004 by Speak (first published August 1st 1991)
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142nd out of 268 books — 523 voters
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Community Reviews

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Josiah
"You can't always be pushing people away. Someday nobody'll come back."

—Rebecca, "The Dear One", P. 117

"You have those walls up all around you...Come a day you gonna want to tear them down brick by brick and gonna find that the cement is all hard. What you gonna do then?"

—Rebecca, P. 64

Jacqueline Woodson's quiet lyricism never fails in the creation of any of her new books.
"The Dear One" tackles a variety of thorny issues head-on, including teen pregnancy, adoption, and complex living scena
...more
Stephanie Kenner
Teen Pregnancy

Afeni is twelve and lives with her mom in Seton, Pennsylvania. She lives a pretty spoiled life and wouldn't have it any other way. Rebecca is a pregnant teenager who comes from less fortunate circumstances, and when she comes to live with Afeni and her mother until her baby comes, Afeni is furious. She doesn't want to have anything to do with Rebecca at first and doesn't like anything about her. Rebecca feels the same way about Afeni. The girls are forced to share the same house, e
...more
Kayla Grant
The Dear One was a great story that made me want to read more. In this book it taught me that you should never judge someone unless you get to know them.
Feni is not with her life, her working mother is never home and to make matters worse Feni has to share a room with a guest she doesn't like. Rebecca is temporarily moving in with Feni and her mother as she waits to give birth. Feni is not thrilled at Rebecca's bossy attitude but is curious about her life. soon Rebecca lets down her tough shel
...more
John Wetterholt
At first Feni and Rebecca seem, and believe themselves to be, as different as can be. Feni lives in a well-to-do neighborhood and leads a comparatively sheltered life. Rebecca is from Harlem and is street smart and pregnant at fifteen. Their mothers are old friends, and when Rebecca comes to live with Feni and her mother until the baby is born, neither girl wants to get along with the other. Gradually they come to realize that they have a lot more in common than they think and their adversity is ...more
Nahla Reid
I did not like the main character because she is fifteen and pregnant. I did not like the fifteen year old who's name is Rebecca because she is bossy mean and uneducated.I did not like that the mother lets a girl who is a stranger that they do not know into their house that her daughter Feni does not like.




i could relate to the character feni because she is the only child and she is spoiled but when the fifteen year old named Rebecca came everything changed .The plot moved vey fast cause it was r
...more
Daisy
i must say this book was not one of my favorite ones but i did enjoy the story.It all starts with a young girl named rebecca.Rebecca is fifteen and pregnant and poor. Afeni is twelve, wealthy, spoiled, and doesn’t care to have a pregnant girl living in her house even if the girl is the daughter of her mother’s best friend from college.Rebecca starts off being ratty and mean to afeni because she is jeaolous of afenis richness and at the fact that she gets everything. From day one, the girls hate ...more
Angela
Jun 10, 2010 Angela rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Twelve-year-old Feni protests against her mother allowing a fifteen-year-old pregnant girl live with them until the baby arrives. Yet, her mother insists on doing a favor for an old friend. Feni and her single mother live an upper class neighborhood while Rebecca’s family struggles to make ends meet. When Rebecca first arrives, Feni finds her rude and obnoxious. Rebecca views Feni as a sheltered rich girl who has everything she wants. In the beginning, they clash and exchange some harsh remarks ...more
ShaNell Carter
This book was really good considering that I don’t really read book like this. I only read books like this for school. This book was about: a twelve yea old girl name Afeni and a fifteen year old girl named Rebecca. Rebecca is pregnant and poor. Afeni is wealthy, spoiled, and doesn’t care to have a pregnant girl living in her house even if the girl is the daughter of her mother’s best friend from college. In the beginning of the book Afeni and Rebecca hated each other and must figure out how to ...more
Kirsten
This excellent YA novel concerns Afeni, who is twelve years old and lives with her mother. Her parents are divorced, and her mother is a recovering alcoholic, but things have been stable for Afeni and she and her mother certainly don't lack for anything -- her mom is also a bit of a workaholic. Afeni's world gets shaken up when her mother decides to take in Rebecca, the pregnant fifteen-year-old daughter of an old college friend. Afeni is most certainly NOT happy about this; she doesn't want to ...more
cheyenne
the plot in this book is about a girl named Afeni she was a bit spoiled. and she doesn't want this girl Rebecca to come live in there house. becuase she got pregant at the age of 15 and she was living there until the baby was born. and after a while of Rebecca and Afeni getting in to drama. they became friends and now Afeni doesn't want Rebecca to leave.
i can connect to this book becuase near the end when Rebecca was telling her grade on a test. it reminded me of me and my friends how we try t
...more
priscilla
I think what always amazes me about Jacqueline Woodson's books is that I like them, a lot, even when it feels like nothing much is happening in them. Not in that 'no action, boring' sense, but in that the stories are very internal or very dialogue-driven. Somehow, I still want to read them and I still feel like I get pulled into their worlds.
'The Dear One' had a few clumsy spots where I think Woodson wrote too little, either in terms of description or reaction. But I really enjoyed the contrast
...more
Read  Ribbet
As I move through Jacqueline Woodson books, I read the 1991 YA novel The Dear One now published int he Penguin Speak collection. With teenage pregnancy as its central focus, the Dear One stay more innocent in the eyes of the young narrator and focuses on the importance of friendship and support during difficult times. It is an affirming novel of the women characters -- young and old -- come together to help each other.
Andrea
This book is short, kind of sweet, and pretty young. Would be a good read for a middle schooler. I found it because the author had another book on a recommended list for 2014 and my library holds were maxed out. A sweet-ish book just not what I would recommend to my peer group. Afeni is an awesome name.
Brittany Christensen
Genre: Teen Pregnancy / Friendship
In this story twelve year old Afeni must learn to live with and get along with fifteen year old, pregnant Rebecca. While dealing with the all too recent death of her grandmother and divorce of her parents, Feni is sure she will have nothing in common with the new girl in her house. But after getting past the initial negative impressions, the girls come to rely on each other and to learn from each other as well. Although the plot is not very exciting or even some
...more
 Imani ♥ ☮
Not one of Woodson's best but it was still okay. I think it may have been a bit too short and I kind of lost the story in a few places. And the plot was a bit cliche'. What's that girl's name...um...umm...well I know it means "Dear One" in Swahilli or something so we'll call her that. So "DO" has this cousin who she doesn't really talk to who got pregnant. Her and her mom live in this really fancy neighborhood or whatever(although "DO" doesn't really fit in because she thinks they're stuck up). ...more
Esther
he plot in this book is about a girl named Afeni she was a bit spoiled. and she doesn't want this girl Rebecca to come live in there house. becuase she got pregant at the age of 15 and she was living there until the baby was born. and after a while of Rebecca and Afeni getting in to drama. they became friends and now Afeni doesn't want Rebecca to leave. this book can connect to a lot of us because there are always those friends we have where at first we really did not like them then later on you ...more
Debbie
May 27, 2008 Debbie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teen girls
Afeni (which means "the dear one" in Swahili) is a 12-year-old girl dealing with the tragic death of her beloved grandmother and her parents' divorce.

When Rebecca, the daughter of her mother's childhood friend, comes to live with Afeni and her mother, Afeni is not pleased. Rebecca, 15, is pregnant, and Afeni is sure they will have nothing in common.

At first, the girls clash, but they slowly become friends. Through a cast of strong female characters, Woodson takes on such weighty issues as teen
...more
Rochelle
Nov 14, 2007 Rochelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers interested in dramatic books
I absoulutly love this book. It teaches lots of life leasons. I don't remember alot about thid book, but I do remember that it's about a girl named Lena, and her 15 year old cousin, Rebecca, moves in with her and is giving her a really hard time. Rebecca is pregnet so her mother desides to let her move in with her sister(Lena's mother), because all of her brothers and sisters would stress her out during the pregnancy. So, anyways to make a REALLY long story short Rebecca was a snob and disrespec ...more
Yomiuri
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stef
teen at 15 pregnant must suck. Feni knwos all about it a perfect girl mean pretty than gets this turned to her. has an attitude, and hates the world. feni trys to welcome her but the girl could care less. she wishes she were never born. ANd her parents support heer.

i can not connect to this at all. This is because i didnt have this experience. In anyway, neither did any of my friends/
i give it 5 stars because it gives you lessons. that are good . i recommed this to anyone who wants to make sure
...more
Layla
this is about a girl named feni. feni's mom welcomes a 15 year old pregnantt girl in their home. this girl is mean, has an attitude, and hates the world. feni trys to welcome her but the girl could care less. she wishes she were never born.
i could connect this book to real life because girls get pregnant early these days then soon regret it!
i gave this book 4 stars because i enjoyed it and i suggest people who love books based on true story should read this book.
Tima
I've decided I don't really care for the open-ended conclusions Woodson leaves in all her books. They all feel like they could be marvelous if they were just a smidgen longer. I did think this book was better fleshed out than I Hadn't Meant to Tell You That . The characters had depth and the story felt more real but I still felt like it was somewhat shallow in areas.

My favorite of her books is still the very first one I ever read. Beneath a Meth Moon
Trena
This Book The Dear One was a nice book to sit back and read. i found it Interested becuase I was reading along I wanted to know how this lillte girl, well, pre-teen was feeling when her mother had told her she was going to have to share the house with another person and it kind of reminded me of myself. The title of the book made me wonder that it stood for a baby and not someones name. Aferni means Dear One thats why her grandmother named her that.
Ema
A very fast, but impacting read. The book highlights some of the emotional difficulties of teenage pregnancies, of the teenager herself and those around her. Throughout the whole book, I wanted to hate Feni for being such a bitch, but I couldn't bring myself to it. I actually found myself rooting for her instead of Rebecca, when it should have been the other way around. It has a good grasp on the true meaning of friendship, and one of Woodson's best.
Emily
This is a really good book about grasping onto a friendship. Its really sad, since Rebecca is pregnant at 15, a VERY young age. I feel bad for Rebecca, but I know and am very sure that she will never forget Feni and Her mom. And the couple Marion and Bernadette (those very... Interesting times that she had to witness...). This book is EXTREMLEY good, so I hope that you will have a chance to read this. Thanks
Thorn MotherIssues
A whole lot of issues -- teen identity and self-awareness, race, class, sexual orientation, teen pregnancy and sex ed, alcoholism, divorce, mental illness, adoption, adoption coercion -- and yet so little didacticism. I must have read this when it first came out, but I still remember being fascinated and somewhat baffled by it as a young teen. It's a great book for younger readers, I think.
Katelyn
When I picked up this book I thought well I'll give it a try. When I read the first page. I thought to my self wow this is really detailed. When I finished the book. I went and checked out some the other books she wrote. All I'm saying is read the other books to there as good!! Like ( the house you pass on the way.. And behind you) those were the other ones I read.
☆•Käthÿÿ•☆
Like I said before this book looks good because a lot of things happened in chapter one. I would recommend this book to anyone that has problem with a 15 year old girl that is pregnant living in your house. It would be fun if our E.L.A teacher Ms.Erickson would read it because it would expire some girls why they shouldn't have kids at an early age
Danie P.
Another great book for young girls and even boys to read. Afeni is 12 and really really mad that her mother's having 15 year old Rebecca come to stay IN HER ROOM until she has her baby. It's definately a great book that explores the emotions of a young girl who is pregnant as well as wealth disparity issues that affect race.
Shenilee Bishop
The Dear One by Jacqueline Woodson was a inspiring book.It thought me a valueable lesson,that is to not have sex at a young age because it can cause great consequences,like pregency,that leads to baby,that leads to not affording a child.The Dear One can teach you alot of lessons it taught me.
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74640
I used to say I’d be a teacher or a lawyer or a hairdresser when I grew up but even as I said these things, I knew what made me happiest was writing.

I wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when my mother found out.) I wrote on paper bags and my shoes and denim binders. I chalked stories a
...more
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“You can't always be pushing people away. Someday nobody'll come back.” 55 likes
“People are going to judge you all the time no matter what you do...Don't worry about other people. Worry about you.” 23 likes
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