Pregnant Girl: A Story of Teen Motherhood, College, and Creating a Better Future for Young Families

Beacon. May 2021. 248p. ISBN 9780807056035. $24.95. SOC SCI
In her first book, Lewis (founder of the nonprofit Generation Hope) investigates root issues that deter young parents from attending college, through the lens of her own experience. Teen parents in general, and Black teen parents in particular, are discouraged in the U.S. from attending college, Lewis argues, by the GI Bill’s replacement with private lending, disconnection from families or communities due to shame, and a lack of role models. Lewis shares that she became pregnant as a high school senior and went on to attend the College of William & Mary. The needs of young parents—including child care, housing, and transportation—are never far from her mind; Lewis writes that these factors can make a significant difference in students’ wellbeing and continued success. She introduces the concept of student-parents’ “time poverty”— not an issue of time management, but rather a true deficit of hours in the day to accomplish commuting, working, parenting, and studying.
VERDICT Lewis interweaves her own account of being a pregnant teen and her extensive research, to tie proposed solutions directly to facts. A complementary work is Melanie Watkins’s Taking My Medicine, although Watkins’s book is more memoir than research.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing