This book starts in 1987 New York with a 16 year old girl named Claireece "Precious" Jones. She grows up with an abusive mother and suffers from visits from an abusive father. She is basically illiterate and is pregnant with her second baby by her father. Her mother refuses to work and counts on the monthly welfare check to barely provide for Precious. In return for the basics she provides, she expects her daughter to cook and clean and basically wait on her hand and foot. Her only escape is at school, where she is eventually expelled for becoming pregnant once again. Her guidance counselor convinces her to go to an alternative school, called Each One Teach One, where she meets an array of misfits just like herself. The teacher, Blue Rain, has an amazing way with each and every one of the students, and they learn the basic english and vocabulary skills that public school had failed them on. They write in journals daily to build their skills, and through this we see a little bit into their lives. While at the school, her mother continues to abuse her and takes living almost unbearable. She eventually goes into labor at school and comes home to face her mother. Unfortunately, welfare had found out that her first born baby was living with her grandmother, so her mother ends up getting less money. This leads to a confrontation when she gets home from hospital. After escaping her mothers wrath, Precious recieves help from Blue, and gets into a halfway house for abused women with children. She continues her education until her mother drops in for a visit. She tells Precious that her father had died of AIDs, and with having had unprotected sex with him resulting in two babies, Precious is at risk for being HIV positive. Amazingly, the mother is negative. Now Precious must go to the doctor to get tested, and learns that she is positive, but her newborn son is not. Now, instead of her world crashing down on her, Precious somehow finds the energy to attend an incest support group and counseling for her diagnosis. She learns and grows from the friendships she gains. Unfortunately, the book ends with no specific information to the outcome of her story.
1 Do you think that Precious would have been able to overcome her socio-economic background and abuse to find peace in her life? Or do you think that the obstacles are too great to overcome?
2 If you were in the same situation, what would you do to cope? Or would you even be able to at all?