Under the guidance of editor Bob Woodward, Washington Post reporter Leon Dash lived in a housing project in Washington, D.C. to learn more about the rise of teenage parenthood among poor African American teenagers. He says that both adolescent boys and girls see parenthood as an achievement. Dash expanded his reporting into a book called When Children Want Children.
Irish author Roddy Doyle, winner of the 1993 Booker Prize for his novel "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha" (Viking). Doyle taught school in Dublin for fourteen years; during that time he wrote and self-published his first novel, "The Commitments" about a band of musicians who bring soul music to Dublin. (It was made into a popular film here).
Director of the National Center on Hunger, Poverty and Nutrition at Tufts University, Dr. Larry Brown. He directed a recent study titled "Statement on Key Welfare Reform Issues: The Empirical Evidence." It revealed the assumptions behind the Republican "Contract With America" regarding welfare reform to be wrong. He agrees reform is necessary but must be focused on the right target.
The new film from director Todd Solondz, Palindromes, begins with a funeral for Dawn Weiner, the memorable, much-maligned 11-year-old from the 1995 Solondz film Welcome to the Dollhouse. The main character of the new film is Dawn's cousin, but she's played by seven different and distinct actors.
Jason Reitman's new teen comedy Juno, like Knocked Up, disguises its family-values stance with a liberal helping of four-letter words. Film critic David Edelstein says it's targeted firmly at the tweener crowd, and the relentless banter of Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets taken to a new level here. But every character's wisecracks, as in bad Neil Simon, come from the same place.
When Nicole Lynn Lewis got pregnant in high school, she thought it might end her dream of going to college and having a career. She felt ashamed, in part because of how people regarded her as a pregnant Black teenager. Lewis, who is now in her 40s, was named a CNN Hero in 2014. Last year, she was named one of the inaugural awardees of the Black Voices for Black Justice Fund in recognition of her work addressing structural and systemic racism in America. Her new memoir is called Pregnant Girl: A Story of Teen Motherhood, College, and Creating a Better Future for Young Families.