Title: THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME
Category/Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 77,000
My Main Character would use sun or snow to battle their biggest obstacle:
Lacey’s biggest battle is against abstinence-only sex education (if you can call that “education”). Not exactly weather-dependent. She wants her peers to practice safe-sex. She knows that sometimes, with the warm weather the sun brings, her friends might be feeling a little…friskier. But the same could be true when her town is snowed in. Regardless of the weather, she’d probably hand you a condom if you asked.
If you’re looking for sex advice, Lacey Burke might not be your first choice. She has no firsthand experience—she’s never even been kissed. She’d also probably get expelled from her strictly abstinence-only school in her conservative small town if anyone found out. Up until now, she’s been a straight-A music geek that no one even notices.
That all changes when she helps deliver the baby of a friend. Fed up with her school’s strict abstinence-only policies, and armed with the knowledge she’s acquired as a trained doula and from being raised by an über-feminist mom, Lacey takes a stand. Along with the help of her two best friends, Evita and Theo, Lacey starts an underground operation of handing out condoms, safe-sex advice, and pregnancy tests.
Before long, she’s keeping everyone’s secrets, including her own (read: hooking up with Theo behind Evita’s back). But when one of her classmates, a pregnant freshman, threatens to expose her and her friends if Lacey doesn’t help her keep the pregnancy a secret, she’ll have to choose between keeping her classmate safe and protecting the people she cares most about.
THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME will appeal to readers of FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli.
First 250 words:
The phone call isn’t exactly unexpected. My mom always finds a reason to check on something. Did she leave enough milk for my baby brother Dylan? Does Charlie remember Nina’s music class? It’s obvious she just wants to know how the kids are doing. My stepdad Charlie knows this and when he sees her number on the Caller ID, he rubs his two-day stubble and takes a breath before he answers: “Hon, the kids are fine, but they miss you just the right amount, and Lacey and I are about to take them to the store to stock up on lunch fixings.” He pauses to roll his eyes at me. But then nods. “Here she is.”
He hands me the phone, and predictably as soon as I stop playing with my three-year-old sister Nina, she starts whining that she wants me to pick her up. Charlie scoops her up and carries her out of the kitchen.
“Hey, Lacey!” She’s chipper. Too chipper. “How would you like to witness your first birth?”
“Um. Are you forgetting I was there when Nina and Dylan were born?”
I know what she’s asking me. Just a few weeks ago, I took a workshop on being a birth doula, which means I’m trained to comfort and support women during labor and birth. My mom just has “this feeling that I’ll be great.” I just wish I could be as sure as she is. No amount of studying makes me feel ready to help someone with something as personal and important as having a baby.