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Fact of Life # 31    by Denise Vega order for
Fact of Life # 31
by Denise Vega
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Sixteen-year-old Katima Flynn works for her mother, Abra, who is a homebirth midwife extraordinaire. Abra likes to think Kat will someday follow in her footsteps. When Kat is asked to attend her first birth, she makes a mistake that could have been disastrous. Embarrassed and angry at herself she gives notice that she is quitting, much to her mother's disappointment.

Since her best friend Christy started dating Glenn, Kate feels like a third wheel. She's been crushing on Manny Cruz since seventh grade and in Glenn's opinion she's wasting her time.

Next to invisible to the high school's movers and shakers, Kat is surprised when beautiful Libby Giles begins talking to her. Whatever is going on with Libby, Kat is afraid to offer her help. Tomorrow she might be invisible again.

Kat understands her younger sister Lucy's problems with their mom. Growing up with Abra doesn't allow for intimacy because whenever you ask a question, you get a lecture. If only Kat could talk to her mother without having her look for ways to teach rather than discuss Kat's life.

Kat's search for herself is often funny and frequently poignant. Her mother's unusual occupation and her skill as a teacher add to Kat's story.

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