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Baby Girl #1

In the Beginning

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Baby Girl Book 1: In the Beginning is a short story within a long series. More short stories in this series will follow in the near future.
Follow Cleo on her epic saga which begins when she abandoned by her mom at twelve. She has no other family which she is aware of, and in order to survive she leaves her home and lives on the streets. She meets some interesting characters and gets into some amusing predicaments all in the name of survival, such as jumping trains, being chased through the woods by a crazy man with a loaded shotgun and witnessing an unspeakable crime. After a few months on the streets she runs into another group of kids, Einstein is the oldest and a leader in the group, and they form a family of sorts. For survival and money they lean towards a life a crime which inevitably breaks up their family and sends Cleo and Einstein spiraling into their own adventure. Eventually they settle into a “normal” life however their pasts can’t be hushed forever …

56 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 4, 2013

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About the author

Elle Klass

38 books166 followers
Elle Klass is an award winning author. She currently lives in Florida with her family. To date she has written and published over sixteen books, in varying genre's including mystery, suspense, psychological thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi and contemporary fiction. When she's not writing she's spending time with family or friends, traveling, relaxing at home watching ghost and horror movies or listening to an audio book.

To sign up for Elle's mailing list and get updates on new releases, events and giveaways: http://elleklass.weebly.com/contact-m...

Visit her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCADU...

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5 stars
52 (45%)
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36 (31%)
3 stars
13 (11%)
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9 (7%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Bobbie.
508 reviews67 followers
September 2, 2017
This is book one in this Baby Girl series by Elle Klass. It's about a young teen who from the time she was born on to the time she finally runs away from her so-called home is rejected and neglected by drug addicted Mom with no Dad to take care of her.All she knows is she looks nothing like her mom, so she figures she must look more like her absent dad.When she does leave she lives on the streets which is just as lonely yet more dangerous until she finally meets up with a family of other children also living on the streets. This begins her adventures in the world. It's an action filled and touching book, and this is just the beginning of the Baby Girl's saga. Now I need to read book two to find out what happens next.
Profile Image for Angela Cruz.
233 reviews7 followers
November 11, 2015
This is a young adult short story. This can be read as a stand alone, but this is book one in the Baby Girl Series. This is a great start to a promising series. What a touching but sad story. This mysterious group of kids, has no one to miss them, breaks my heart. Cleo has been through so much. She only desires to have a full belly and a warm bed. I feel one day she will make it off the streets. I can not wait to read more about Cleo's journey.

Even though her life wasn't as bad as some, the older she got the worse it was. Days turns into weeks and then months of no one to take care of her, she has accepted that her mom will not return this time. She stuffs her backpack and leaves behind her insignificant life. Life on the streets in hard but she makes the best out of whatever she comes across. She learns to survive, and is settled into her routine.

Cleo gets unexpected company and they become fast friends. With her makeshift family, they get into difficult situations. Desperate to survive, they turn to stealing, but with every action comes a consequence. Their small family is broken up, now Cleo and Einstein are on the run. Cleo and Einstein have a plan and are determined to get off the streets. For a moment they are ordinary people, but at what cost? They are making plans, but actions are needed now.

favorite passages:
"A haze filled the cabin, caused by her chain smoking."
"I pictured myself as the characters in the stories, which helped me escape the life I lived."
"He insisted it wasn't Christmas without presents so we found gifts for each other and placed them under the tree. It was the first Christmas in my life I celebrated."
"We made it to the other side of the road after playing chicken with the traffic. "
"My heart beat like a drummer on caffeine."
"His eyes unwavering and burning deep into my soul."
"Inside I screamed; outside my body convulsed as rivers of loss and sudden fear course through my veins."<3
"Once again I was running, a familiar friend."

Profile Image for Linda Williams.
Author 15 books192 followers
May 1, 2015
Life on the streets for runaways...children abandoned, neglected, left to fend for themselves...Elle Klass addresses these issues in an unsentimental, straightforward way--the mental equivalent of a punch to the gut. We learn the characters' street names, Einstein and Cleopatra, but never their true identities. They lead a bleak existence, which forces them into a life of crime.

I'm unclear why the author decided to present these stories in a series of vignettes rather than a complete novel. Despite its briefness--a mere 38 pages--Baby Girl Book 1 is well written and worth reading. I plan to read the other stories, as well.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Avi Morris.
Author 1 book110 followers
January 28, 2015
This book is not a genre I would normally read, but having noticed some good reviews, decided to give it a try, especially having younger people in my family whom I might be able to recommend it to. Baby Girl Book 1,the first in a several part series by Elle Klass, is the story of an underprivileged girl, abandoned when not yet a teen, who uses ingenuity, stealth and ultimately the company of other young people who have no home, to survive in an unfriendly world. You can't help but root for the girl who is given a name from one of her new friends. I'll definitely be recommending the book and the series.
Profile Image for Melanie P. Smith.
Author 41 books35 followers
March 22, 2015
I’m not typically a huge fan of short stories because if they are good, they always leave you wanting more. I want more. Baby Girl is a short story and the first book in a series. Klass did a good job of capturing the reader’s attention from the very beginning. The story line and character depiction was well written and held my interest until the very end. I look forward to discovering the next phase of Cleo’s life in Book 2. If it’s as good as Baby Girl, it’s bound to be a hit.

Melanie P. Smith
Profile Image for Michelle Ferrari-Johnson.
1,557 reviews35 followers
January 20, 2016
This is a young adult adventure. Elle Klass depicts the life of runaways and those abandoned or homeless. Cleo and Einstein, though not their real names, stumble upon each other and quickly come to rely on each other to survive. They hop from city to city, and then decide it is time to settle down in one place, together. The actual hardships and "in your face" lifestyle is shown and not sugar coated with pleasantries. It can be read as a stand alone but I am looking forward to the next installment.
Profile Image for SB Morales.
447 reviews86 followers
June 22, 2014
This is such a powerful story. A young girl runs away from a mother who had never been an actual mother to her. She has been on her own all her life so leaving the place she shared with her mother didn't seem like much of a difference. We follow her while she navigates her life on the streets. The story is so realistic that I wonder if Klass was inspired by someones actual life. I can't wait to read the next installment of baby girl!
Profile Image for Dawn.
1,106 reviews43 followers
September 30, 2014
"Baby Girl Book 1: In the Beginning" may just have changed my mind about short stories!

It reads like the opening episode of a TV show - and what a brilliant start to the adventure!
There's a healthy mix of reality and suspended reality here which gives a real depth to the story.

Simply put, it's a wonderful small dose of escapist fiction.

I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Candi Silk.
Author 18 books11 followers
October 3, 2014
A Heart Clenching Read!
Baby Girl - In The Beginning is the first in a series, and the author, Elle Klass wastes no time thrusting the reader into the spellbinding story. The setting is one that most will never experience, and one that no one wants to experience. Don’t let the title, Baby Girl, fool you. This is a thrilling new-adult read, one fully loaded with the burly experiences of life.

Cleo, abandoned by her mother, is faced with the most primitive level of survival, unless she learns quickly. But at the young age of 12? Extremely challenging, not to mention 24/7 threatening events from every quarter.

Klass does a splendid job balancing the oncoming challenges of street life with the growing resilience of Cleo as she quickly realizes her survival depends upon rapid learning and knowing. On the run in the shadows of society, and deprived of the benefits of public education, Cleo must create her own system of learning, if she is to pass or fail the real tests of survival on her own. And Cleo’s learning goes beyond the confines of a textbook or the bureaucratic bounds of organized schooling.

Baby Girl - In The Beginning has a storyline that becomes believable as Klass paints the unfolding events page by page for the reader. Her characters quickly came to life and as a reader I began to embrace each one. The author has a knack for hooking lots of emotion between the pages to keep readers wondering where things are headed for the story and characters.

Having read As Snow Falls, another novel by Klass, I’m not surprised that she knows how to keep readers entertained as her stories unfold. Baby Girl 1 left me wanting to know the full outcome of Cleo’s drive to survive. My Kindle is loaded, waiting for me to continue the series, and Cleo’s suspenseful journey.

Five-Stars for Baby Girl 1, and the fine job author Elle Klass did writing a highly adventurous read! Keep us entertained Ms. Klass!
Profile Image for Elan Carson.
Author 2 books17 followers
February 8, 2014
Baby Girl is a quick-paced short story following the adventures of one brave and street-savvy adolescent. Abandoned by her mother, “Cleo” has to learn to fend for herself and ultimately survive.

Descriptive, raw, and captivating, author Elle Klass does a great job of leading you through the mishaps, turmoil, and journey that the main character undergoes over the span of roughly a year.

Shorter structured sentences keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, as the pace is heightened and drops you like a rollercoaster into the harried, disjointed life of Cleo. Concise but beautiful descriptions, like “a stream of shrapnel flowed out of the barrel” or “rubber ducky yellow” made the story a visual treat.

I hungered for the author to include more vivid details and reference the other senses such as taste and touch, but otherwise, I could see exactly what the author had wanted me to.

I recommend this short story to anyone looking to escape into the adventure-packed landscape of one rough-around-edges teenager.
Profile Image for Samyann.
Author 1 book76 followers
August 5, 2014
This review addresses the first three books in the Baby Girl series, which to this point includes Book 1, In the Beginning - Book 2, Moonlighting in Paris - Book 3, City by the Bay.

The story surrounds the trials and adventures of a girl, seemingly born into poverty to a drug addicted mother. Finding herself completely alone, and unaware of her mother’s death, the girl heads out into the world on her own. The story moves along through her subsisting on dumpster trash and living under a bridge to a life of luxury in Paris and beyond. In the interim, the protagonist creates life long friendships, lives life on the run, falls in love, experiences great highs and lows, successes and devastating loss … as she delves into her past.

There are some incredibly fortuitous coincidences that will force the reader to stretch the imagination, but hey … this is fiction, not real life. Ergo … fun. I don’t believe you’ll be able to simply read Book 1. You’ll find yourself sucked in and rooting for the character. Enjoyed!
Profile Image for Brigitte .
1,559 reviews23 followers
February 4, 2017
Cleo lives with her mother and doesn't know her father. She lives a very sheltered life, besides going to school. They have a very simple and somewhat poor lifestyle except for the odd occasions, when her mother would disappear for a few days and return with food and clothes.

Cloe is now twelve years old and when her mother goes absent for longer than usual, she decides to pack up and run. During that time, she learns how to fend for herself until she meets others who are in a similar situation to hers, including Einstein who is the oldest and assumes the role of their leader.

Cloe and Einstein make plans for the future to keep them safe but just when they think everything is going to plan, something goes drastically wrong. Even though, it's a short part of the full story, everything runs smoothly and falls into place. It's a very emotional read suitable for Young Adults. I am really looking forward to read the next part.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jane Peskara / Audrey Valentine.
128 reviews66 followers
March 24, 2014
Great storyline, loved it. Its about a young girl who leaves "home" when her mother doesnt come back...she didnt really have a home they lived in a shak with no TV, not much food etc......in this book she leaves home to see the world and get a better life...she meets this boy named einstein and they both plan to have a normal life together.........but then a tragedy happens and the girl is alone again.......Even though i loved the story(thats why i give this book 4 stars) i think it is too short even for a book of a series......of course i wanna read the following books but when i think about it as reader and customer its weird when u have a few books of a series but everyone is very short, i think it would have been better if the author would have done 2 books in one at least. But for now i am satisfied with the story and the writing style also captivated me.
Profile Image for Marcha Fox.
Author 17 books188 followers
June 24, 2014
I was totally hooked from the first page of this well-written, professionally crafted story and couldn't put it down. I'm a writer and editor at heart and not once did I get hung up in any awkward wording or events that suspended belief. The narrative flows as if the protagonist was sitting there at the kitchen table with you telling her life story. The characters were real, the situation tragic but in today's society all too believable. The naivety of the main character adds significantly to the story and gives you further pause that there are those out there who do not live in luxury and enjoy total familiarity with electronic devices. I found it a plus that it was relatively short or I would have been up all night since I started reading it when I went to bed. The story was complete yet left you eager to read the next installment, which I greatly look forward to.
Profile Image for Susanne Leist.
Author 4 books567 followers
September 1, 2014

This review is from: Baby Girl Book 1: In the Beginning (Kindle Edition)
A sad story of betrayal and loneliness that a young girl had to endure. Neglected and then finally abandoned by her mother, Cleo leaves home to find a better life. Anything would be better than a life of poverty and neglect. Cleo hops onto a train and travels to a city. The city looks marvelous and scary to her at the same time. She meets up with other lost children. On one of their escapades of robbing people's homes, a young sister and brother are caught by the police. Cleo and the boy she likes,Einstein, begin to run. They intend to leave the country but Einstein is hit by a car. Cleo is left alone once again. She must make her way on her own. Her neighbor is eager to help her with the passport. Should she trust him? Should she go home and see if her mother returned? Very hard choices for a little girl.
Profile Image for Rosie Amber.
Author 0 books114 followers
September 22, 2014
Baby Girl is the first book in a series, it is just 38 pages long and can be read quite easily in one sitting. We are introduced to a young girl who has had a harsh, lonely upbringing from a part-time mother who treated her shamefully. When her mother leaves her for several months, our twelve year old narrator, takes matters into her own hand and runs away.

The Big City offers an escape from prying eyes and our little girl survives pretty well considering what might have happened. She finally meets some other runaway kids and they become a family. Cleo and her friends make do as best they can, keeping one step ahead of capture. With Einstein she has a solid friend and they make big plans to leave America. Yet the path they all walk is never easy.

With a new identity the story will continue in the next book
Profile Image for Rhoda D'Ettore.
Author 19 books37 followers
December 4, 2014
This is an interesting and thought provoking story that has a lot of description to help the reader fully picture the setting. When you read about a kid who is simply happy to have a shower and a television with a remote control, it makes you stop and think about your life. For anyone who may be disappointed with life, read this book. You will quickly appreciate what you have. From the drug addicted absent mother to the child dumpster diving for food and clothing... there is just no words to explain the thoughts that went through my head. And I am also an author--with the gift to gab. I hope to see more from this author.

Criticism: The writing is well done and grammatically correct. It flows well. However, it does need some editing. I am going to make some suggestions to the author privately. Do not let small things that need tweaking distract you from a great story.
Profile Image for Jane Blanchard.
Author 8 books47 followers
April 17, 2015
Baby Girl Book 1: In the Beginning by Elle Klass is a compelling first-person narrative that draws you in and leaves you wanting more.

Imagine being abandoned at age twelve and having to fend for your self. That's what happened to Cleo—living on her own, in a big city, with winter approaching. She is resourceful and self-reliant. When other kids invade her shelter, she joins "the family." To survive, the turn to crime, until something goes very wrong.

Cleo and Einstein, the leader of the family, join together for several months, bouncing from city to city and experiencing things both wonderful and frightening. The settle down for a while until the past catches up to them.

Cleo is once again alone, in a new country, and with a new identity. What will happen next?

This is a great YA book that leaves you wanting more
Profile Image for J.S. Luxor.
Author 32 books8 followers
July 14, 2015
Elle Klass' capacity to put the reader in Cleo's shoes impresses me on so many levels. My heart wrenched when reading about how her drug addicted mother left her to fend for herself just as she began to negotiate adolescence. Her ability to find ways to survive and thrive under the circumstances kept my attention and motivated me to keep reading. The author demonstrates a unique style by writing in the first person and describing Cleo's decision making processes when faced with various dilemmas. After reading this first book, I got hooked and continued through the rest of the series. I love the main character with all her disguises and name changes as well as the courage demonstrated when tragedies and other opportunities come her way. Bravo to the author!
Profile Image for Cassandra Ulrich.
Author 11 books10 followers
July 6, 2015
“Baby Girl Book 1: In the Beginning” by Elle Klass is a short story about a girl, Cleo, who grows up in the woods with her mom. When her mother left the cabin for months, Cleo was thrust into a world where she was forced to fend for herself. She was only twelve. After a few months on the streets, she met three kids, Einstein, Peewee, and Star. They became a family of sorts where stealing helped them to survive. Cleo’s adventures had only just begun.
Although the narration spent more time telling than showing the action, the story held my interest to the end. I am curious what happens to her in the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Sarah Butfield.
Author 19 books91 followers
August 9, 2014
A powerful and emotionally charged short story about a girl named Cleo. It is superbly written to offer the perfect balance of ‘show not tell.’
The chapter length is perfect and there is no repetition. The emotions portrayed encompass loneliness, neglect, homeless children, street crime and a range of other events and situations which flow seamlessly to draw you into Cleo’s world. I would hate to spoil this read for anyone, so all I can say is that I admit to being hooked from page 1. I loved it and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Congratulations Elle.
Profile Image for Mark Tilbury.
Author 24 books258 followers
June 21, 2015
This is the first in a series of short stories about Cleo and the struggles she faces in her early life. Here in the beginning she is 12 and living a tough lonely life when abandoned by her mother. She has to fend for herself and decides to run away.

Elle Klass has written a powerful start to her series. The character thought processes and the range of emotions conveyed are brilliantly expressed. She manages to make readers fell empathy and concern for Cleo and the other street children who feature in this book. I look forward to the next in the series.
Profile Image for Chris Birdy.
Author 3 books334 followers
July 26, 2014
This is an incredible story of Cleo, a twelve year old girl, who sets out on her own after she is abandoned by her mother. Living on the streets, Cleo experiences some incredible things and barely escapes by the skin of her teeth. Eventually, she hooks up with Einstein and others forming a small band of thieves. Baby Girl is an exciting tale that keeps your interest all the way through to the end when you look up and say, "I want more."
511 reviews
August 13, 2015
Survival on the streets.

How do you survive on your own when you are twelve and abandoned? A young girl abandoned by her mother leaves the very little she has behind her in search of food and determined to survive. She friends some wayward teenagers like her. At some point to survive they turn to burglary. Cleo and Einstein decide to make a life for themselves when tragedy strikes again.
Profile Image for P.S. Winn.
Author 75 books342 followers
May 4, 2014
This is a great short story that leaves the reader wanting more. When the young girl in the story's mother leaves her abandoned she has to try and make it out on the streets. She finds friends to help and who name her Cleo, a tragedy forces Cleo to move on and become Justine. So as not to spoil the story I won't disclose what happened. but it is a great story and I eagerly anticipate more!
Profile Image for Julie Powell.
Author 66 books310 followers
September 11, 2015
A good beginning to a journey, one of a girl who is forced to strike out on her own. She is lucky in that she finds others who are in the same predicament... I don't give spoilers.

Overall, I think this short tale is a good introduction, it is well written with realistic characters and plenty of emotion.
Profile Image for Lisa.
Author 2 books121 followers
October 22, 2015
Elle Klass is headed for great things.

I loved this book. The plot was very engaging. You have a stake in it emit from the beginning .The main character is tough yet endearing. As you follow along the journey you really get to know the background. Then you're in for a treat. Can't wait for the next book
Profile Image for Elle Klass.
Author 38 books166 followers
November 16, 2015
The introduction to Cleo's story, a sad one as it may be. But never put anything past Cleo, she's smart and tenacious. There was many directions in which this series could go. I love the path Cleo chose and hope you will too.
Profile Image for Lorraine.
487 reviews34 followers
July 3, 2015
A powerful and well written, but brief introductory novel to a series, that has left me wanting more.
The author does a great job of depicting events and settings and bringing her characters to life.
I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews

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