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Loretta Castellarin and Ken Roberts.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 1988.
116pp., paper, $4.95.
ISBN 1-55028-113-5. Degrassi Junior High series #11. CIP.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13

Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson.

Volume 17 Number 2
1989 March

When Christine, aka Spike, fourteen and a virgin, went into a bedroom at a party with Shane, a minister's son and someone she had kissed only eight times, she did not expect to leave it pregnant, especially when the unplanned penetration lasted only five seconds. Based on scripts from the "Degrassi Junior High" television series, the book follows Spike through both her grade 8 year and junior high graduation, and her pregnancy and birth of her daughter.

Emotionally supported by her mother, herself an unwed mother at seventeen, Spike encounters varied reactions from schoolmates and ultimately must withdraw from school because of pressures from the adult community. Shane provides Spike with mixed messages as he vacillates between sharing responsibility and avoiding the problem. His religious background causes him to reject the notion of Spike's having an abortion, but he delays revealing his paternity to his parents.

Throughout the story, Spike must make decisions, with the first being whether to terminate the pregnancy or to carry to term. The book's open ending finds Spike having decided to keep her newborn daughter but her mother telling her that she is not prepared to have another baby in her life. Regular viewers of the television series will be able to carry the plot further.

This is an engaging story that will attract strong readership due to its television connection, which is underlined by a colour photo of Amanda Stepto, who plays Spike, on the cover.

Dave Jenkinson, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.
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