A young adult novel

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  • Publisher: ‎ WestSide Books; First Edition (October 1, 2009)
    • Language: ‎ English
    • Hardcover: ‎ 304 pages
    • ISBN-10: ‎ 1934813133
    • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1934813133 
    • Lexile measure: ‎ HL620L
  • Publisher:  Amazon Kindle (December 22, 2019)
    • eBook:  218 pages
    • Text-to-Speech: ‎ Enabled
    • AISN:  B08313KGMK
    • Reading age: ‎ 13 years and up
    • Grade level: ‎ 9 – 12
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Available as an ebook on Amazon. 
Hardback copies are out of print due to the closure of WestSide Books.

Carol will donate a hardback copy to organizations that schedule her for a visit.

image of Star in the Middle ebook cover

At 16, Star’s life has changed drastically now that she’s become the mother of a baby boy. To learn what’s best for him, Star’s taking parenting classes at a center for teen moms. But she’s having trouble keeping up with the baby’s demands, and her grandmother is threatening to force her to put the baby up for adoption. To top it off, Wilson, a popular star athlete, is in denial about being the father. He doesn’t know about Star’s terrible, painful secrets. But as Wilson’s friends and family push him to accept his responsibility, he learns the truth about Star’s disturbing past, facts that change his life forever. 

Told from Star’s and Wilson’s points-of-view. Star In the Middle reveals a compelling snapshot of the difficult lives of teenage parents.

Praise for Star in the Middle

“When Star, 15, has a baby, her boyfriend, Wilson, denies that he is the father. The voices are right-on…. Told from Star and Wilson’s alternating viewpoints, the fast dialogue and inner conflicts explore questions about class, generation, and especially gender, and readers will connect easily with the story that challenges stereotypes… With its central issue of male responsibility, this is a teen pregnancy story for both sexes.” 

Star realistically depicts the struggles of teen parenthood and the responsibility, stress, and stigma it brings…. Appealing to realistic-fiction fans and reluctant readers. 
School Library Journal

“I thought it was an amazing book that really showed me a side of teen pregnancy I never considered before. The characters were complex and really added so many dimensions to the story that it was hard to put down! I will definitely be purchasing your other books.” 
–Amber, Teen Reader

Star In The Middle is a complex and multifaceted story that addresses the issues of teen pregnancy, sexual abuse, responsibility, coming to terms with your mistakes and learning from them…  Star In the Middleprovides a realistic portrayal of what happens when children have children and the complexities and heartbreak that can arise as a consequence.” 
Long and Short Reviews

“Provoking animated discussion, Star in the Middle has proven to be a popular read for teens of both genders. From the surprisingly strong male role of Todd to the supportive adult role of Wilson’s mother, Carol Larese Millward does an excellent job of portraying characters faced with difficult, real-life decisions.”
  –Jennifer S. Kukula, school librarian, Bel Air High School

Star in the Middle offers a unique approach among novels about unwed teen parents, revealing the intimate voices of the young mother and father. Both speak eloquently of their fears, confusion, anger and dreams as they each struggle to learn how to care for their child.” 
–Maureen Stack Sappey, author of Letters from Vinnie, a New York Public Library Best Book, and an Oklahoma Book Award Finalist

Book Trailer

A Shelf-Awareness Book Trailer of the Day Selection, showing what teen parenthood is all about.

Importance of the Topic 

“Adolescent pregnancy is a global phenomenon with clearly known causes and serious health, social and economic consequences.” – World Health Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy

“…a much higher share of American teens get pregnant than girls in other developed countries.” – Teen Pregnancy Symptoms and Risks

“Early motherhood has significantly affected not only adolescent girls, but also their spouse, family, school and the society at large.” – Journal of Reproductive Health, 2017

“In 2020, roughly 15 percent of live births to 15 to 19-year-olds were at least the second child born to the mother.”  – “Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing” from the Office of Population Affairs (US Department of Health and Human Resources)

What the CDC says about Teen Pregnancy

Teen Pregnancy Prevention from the website (created by the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs.)