The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez with Jenna Glatzer

Call # 306.874 ROD

As part of my renewed commitment to my blog I have decided to concentrate on nonfiction for real this year; I am going to try to read one nonfiction book a month. I decided to start with The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez with Jenna Glatzer. Maddy had picked it up off the shelf while waiting for an IMovie project to finalize and liked it so much she brought it home to finish. She brought it back the next day, saying she loved it. After reading it cover to cover in one day I can see why. Rodriguez’s book chronicles her senior project in high school, in which she pretended to be pregnant to see how people would react.
Gaby’s mother had her first child at age 15 and subsequently had seven more children, including Gaby, the youngest by several years. Many of Gaby’s brothers and sisters also became teen parents. As she grew up many people, including her siblings, warned her incessantly about becoming a teen mother. At the same time Gaby saw the way people talked about girls who did become pregnant at her school. When it came time to think about what she might want to do for her senior project she thought about all of the stereotypes that she continuously heard, not only about teen mothers, but about people who had teen mothers in their family. She decided that she wanted to find out firsthand what it felt like to hear whispered gossip and feel people staring at her. Gaby came to the conclusion that for her senior project she would pretend to be pregnant and record the reactions of the people in her life. This took a great deal of courage, not just on Gaby’s part, but her boyfriend Jorge’s as well. Gaby and Jorge decided to not even tell Jorge’s parents that the pregnancy was fake. Gaby got special permission from the principal to embark on this project and except for some healthcare professionals with whom she consulted the only other people who knew the truth were Jorge, Gaby’s mother, and her best friend, Saida. Saida was enlisted in the project to overhear the comments made about Gaby and report them back to her. The project culminated with Gaby doing a presentation in front of the entire school, where she explained that she wasn’t really pregnant and why she felt strongly about the project.
I flew through The Pregnancy Project. I loved learning about Gaby’s family, especially her strong, loving mother. As I was reading I felt that the main focus of Gaby’s senior project was to expose stereotypes; she wanted to show her classmates and teachers how easy it is to fall into the habit of stereotyping and how limiting and hurtful it can be to judge people. Gaby’s presentation opened a lot of eyes and I think her book does the same.

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