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Winner of the Critic's Choice Award of the American Educational Studies Association
Winner of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association First Novelist Award
In this electrifying novel, a black street girl, sixteen years old and pregnant—again—with her father’s child, speaks. In a voice that shakes us by its language, its story, and unflinching honesty, Precious Jones records her journey up from Harlem’s lowest depths.
“Sapphire returns to the themes of incest and child abuse that were a part of her daring American Dreams but with a starkness that is truly horrifying and unforgettable, perhaps because of the horror. Precious Jones lives in a world worse than the one inhabited by the character Celie in The Color Purple. She, too, is a victim of abuse. At 16, Precious finds herself pregnant again by her father, untrained, uneducated, and unable to care for herself or her baby. She is astute enough to know that there is a better way to live but is clueless as to how to get there. Fortunately for Precious, she meets a black teacher, Ms. Blue Rain, who pushes her to change with encouragement and inspiration. Ms. Rain challenges Precious to learn to read and write and improve her way of life. In her literacy class, Miss Rain instructs all of her students to maintain a journal; readers experience Precious’ transformation in her journal entries. Her development and growth are astonishing in the short period of time we share her writings. Push is an intense work, both heartbreaking and frightening.” —Booklist