House of Girls


Young Adult - Coming of Age
220 Pages
Reviewed on 05/14/2015
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Author Biography

After earning an M.F.A. in creative writing for Young People from Lesley University, I took a position teaching Learning Skills to high school students. Though I’ll forever be a New York girl at heart, I now live in New Hampshire with my husband and two teenage children. When I’m not working on my latest novel, you can find me reading, watching reality television, traveling the globe. Some of the amazing places I have been include, honeymooning in Africa, going to the top of the Schilthorn in Switzerland where the James Bond Movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was filmed, exploring the salt mines in Saltzburg, Austria, and boating on a crocodile infested river in Costa Rica.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite

Sharon Levi is fifteen. Sharon Levi is pretty. And Sharon Levi is in love for the first time. Sharon is a typical Jewish princess who anticipates a future wrapped around the ideals of her faith and family beliefs. But this is not a typical tale of unrequited love. Even with her staunch religious background, Sharon finds herself pregnant and without an ounce of family support. Either her mother takes her to Mexico for a secret abortion or she spends her pregnancy in a home with other girls in a similar situation. All Sharon wants, though, is to marry Irish, nicknamed for his heritage, and raise their child as a family. No matter the decision, her father makes certain that Irish is placed behind bars with no hope of contacting Sharon again. For nearly six months Sharon endured the cruel environment of the House of Girls and experienced the heartache of hoping for a happy ending. All of the girls at the House leave without a baby. Sharon refuses to fall into that category. She refuses to sign away custody of her baby because Sharon Levi does not plan to leave The House empty handed.

House of Girls by Joyce Shor Johnson twisted my heart. Johnson’s vivid detail of Sharon’s raw sadness and desperation drew me into this riveting story. As an educator of young adults, I have seen first-hand the difficult decisions handed to our youth. Growing up is not a simple task. Johnson explores the complications of maintaining family values while avoiding the conflicts that can develop. I thoroughly enjoyed House of Girls.