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Growing Up Fast

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Growing Up Fast tells the life stories of Shayla, Jessica, Amy, Colleen, Liz, and Sheri--six teen mothers whom Joanna Lipper first met in 1999 when they were enrolled at the Teen Parent Program in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Less than a decade older than these teen parents, she was able to blend into the fabric of their lives and make a short documentary film about them. Ov ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Picador (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

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Kirsten
About teen pregnancy, in beautiful Pittsfield MA. I've been meaning to read this book *forever*, based on the subject material and proximity to places I know. Now that I live here, it seemed like time to do it. Um. Highly depressing. She basically tells the stories of 6 teen moms, mostly in their own words. Abuse, drugs, lack of opportunities, missed opportunities, dysfunction, dysfunction, dysfunction..... A good depiction of what it's like to be stuck in a town that's going nowhere, and going ...more
Holly
At times really hard to read, but an eye opening book.
Elina Bravve
Basically about teen motherhood. However, I enjoyed it because it was about economic opportunity (or lack thereof) in a former industrial city that was the victim of changing tides, globalization and so forth. After GE left, the workforce couldn't adjust, drugs entered into the picture as soon as poverty did...and a working class community became increasingly chaotic. The author offered few solutions, though she did capture the sense of hopelessness quite well. It captures a moment in American h ...more
Erika
A compilation of teenagers who became parents. At times overwhelmingly depressing, the book is full of wisdom and courage that the young women share. Their struggles are so incredibly hard, and they exhibit strength well beyond their tender years. This is a book that all of us need to read, so that we meet teenage mothers with the compassion and respect they deserve.
Jeanna Mastrodicasa
I found this to be a really fascinating book mostly because it is set in my hometown of Pittsfield, Mass. I recognized many of the places and even some of the service providers. It also included a pretty good description of the community and the levels of despair and pessimism related to the economy there. A quick and slightly depressing book but very fascinating.
Raylene Roberts
Since i grew up in Pittsfield, I thought this would be an interesting read. I was right. The stories of these 6 young girls at times made me feel sympathetic at times for them but also anger at their sometimes lack of taking responsibility for their lives. It made me realize how an environment can play such a large part in shaping the lives of all of us.
Heather Lauren
I had to read this for my sociology class and it was way better than I thought it would be. I enjoyed the stories of each girl and seeing how they are getting their life together. I think for a school reading assignment it could have been much worse and for the book itself, each girls story could have been more depressing.
Monica
read this for my work PLC group...very interesting book looking into the lives of teen mothers and the struggles of the families...very work related..very well written...would recommend to others who work with teenagers, other social workers.
Rhonda
I found this book to be very interesting. It gives a pretty depressing picture of what can happen in economically depressed areas. It also gave some insight into the girls' and their families' thoughts.
Tammy
Not exactly cutting edge, but a very interesting profile of girls in difficult situations. If you like sociology and memoirs like me, this is a good read.
Katie
Nov 28, 2011 Katie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Not a type of book I typically read, was basically about teen motherhood in Pittsfield, MA. A real life grittier version of Teen Mom.
Lisa
A sad but honest portrayal of teen pregnancy in Pittsfield, MA. Lipper seems to really understand the reasons for the city's issue.
Elizabeth Lund
Loved the stories. Tough teen moms making it in a hard world. Most were luckier than some--graduated, not on drugs
Elizabeth Michael
Another must if you teach or in any way work with or interact with young people on a regular basis.
Lee
Nov 28, 2009 Lee marked it as to-read
still trying to read it - started but got distracted and read something else
Kim
Teenage mothers in Pittsfield, MA - after GE abandoned the town.
Carrie Pirmann
sociology
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May 18, 2015
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