Cover image for One night
One night
Wild, Margaret, 1948-
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, [2004]

Physical Description:
236 pages : 21 cm
In this novel written in free verse and narrated by alternating characters, a teenaged girl decides to have her baby and care for it on her own after a "one night stand" results in pregnancy.
Reading Level:
770 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.5 2.0 79029.

Reading Counts RC High School 4.3 7 Quiz: 36369 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Y FICTION Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Adult Fiction Young Adult

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Gabe is the best looking guy in school--that's why his friends send him to get girls to their party. Helen is not much to look at--that's why her friends want her to come along. But Helen gets under Gabe's skin in a way no other girl has. It was one night. One night with lasting consequences. Now Helen has to decide if she wants to keep the baby--and if she should tell Gabe, who hasn't spoken to her since their one night together. Filled with love, fear, and the tough choices born of casual acts,One Nightis a passionate and compellingly readable novel about teen life, the hardships of parenthood--and the joy and forgiveness between family and friends.

Author Notes

Margaret Wild was born in South Africa and moved to Australia in 1972. She has been a journalist on newspapers and magazines, and worked as a book editor in children's publishing for sixteen years. She eventually quit to write fulltime.

Wild has written more than 40 books for children. Some titles include The House of Narcissus, Jenny Angel, Tom Goes to Kindergarten, Nighty Night!, The Pocket Dogs and The Very Best of Friends.

Her books are published around the world and have won numerous awards, including the Young Australian Best Book Award (YABBA) - Picture Book Shortlisted in 2001 for Jenny Angel; the New South Wales State Literary Award - Young Reader Shortlisted in 2000 for Jenny Angel; the CBC Book of the Year - Picture Book Winner in 2000 for Jenny Angel; the Young Australian Best Book Award (YABBA) - Picture Book listed in 2000 for Miss Lily's Fabulous Pink Feather Boa; the Australian Publishers Association - Design Shortlisted in 1999 for Jenny Angel; the Family Award for Children's Books - Picture Book shortlisted in 1999 for Jenny Angel; the Young Australian Best Book Award (YABBA) - Picture Book Shortlisted in 1999 for Miss Lily's Fabulous Pink Feather Boa; and the CBC Book of the Year - Picture Book Shortlisted in 1985 for There's a Sea in My Bedroom. In 2015 she had an Honour Book at the 2015 Children's Book Council (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards with her title, The Stone Lion. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 9-12. Wild returns to the novel-in-verse form that she used in Jinx 0 (2002) in this story about teen pregnancy. Spare, lyrical poems that shift between first-person and third-person perspectives introduce a group of party-throwing boys--Gabe, Al, and Bram. Helen is the girl who falls for Gabe, and when she discovers her pregnancy after their one-night stand, the story shifts to her crisis. Deciding against abortion, she is rejected by her family, and Gabe, who won't take her calls, isn't even aware of the baby. She finds a job and a rooming house owned by elderly Mrs. Evans, who helps care for the baby when he arrives. As Helen tries to knit together Mrs. Evans' broken relationships, she begins to repair her own. The large cast results in some superficial characters and motives, but Wild's poetry has moments of exceptional beauty, and the best scenes, though briefly glimpsed, shimmer with startling, intense feeling. For another view of teen parenthood suggest Angela Johnson's The First Part Last 0 BKL S 1 2003. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Australian author Wild (Jinx) pens a free-verse problem novel about two teens who accidentally become parents after hooking up one night at a party. The book divides into three parts, the first of which centers on Gabe, who's cold but has a self-proclaimed "devastating smile." He meets Helen, who has a "damaged face" but, he admits, "saw into my soul." In the next part, told mainly from Helen's perspective, she realizes she's pregnant but cannot get Gabe on the phone to tell him. After fighting with her dad, she leaves home and finds a new family in a rundown boarding house, where she begins raising her son. In the final section, Gabe and Helen reconnect, confronting their problems and their futures. Gabe and Helen don't have a monopoly on difficulties, either; Wild also dissects both characters' parents' marriages. And, among other characters, Gabe says his best friend Al's name is "short for Alan and Alcohol"; Helen's new landlady has a drug-addicted granddaughter; and one boarder keeps expecting his dead son to visit. The verse can be startlingly perceptive (Helen, unable to breastfeed her son, feels judged by other mothers who "unbutton their blouses/ with milky complacency"). The author quickly captures multiple voices and points of view, and while some plot elements strain credibility, the teen-pleasing insights and fast pace outweigh the soap-opera touches. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Angry at his mother for deserting him, hunky Gabe treats the many girls he meets with a "love them and leave them" attitude. He and his buddies function as a well-oiled machine when it comes to throwing parties, hiding the dysfunction in their families and their personalities behind a smooth facade. Helen, who was born with a disfigured face, hopes to become a plastic surgeon someday. After a one-night stand with Gabe, her world is shattered when she finds that she is pregnant. Written in verse, the book details each small failure and success along the journey toward Gabe and Helen feeling comfortable in the world again. The book takes a sensitive and thoughtful look at a number of other characters as well, each of whom has been betrayed in some way and is dealing, or refusing to deal, with the grief of the situation. Teen readers will love this story and will appreciate its hopeful ending.-Catherine Ensley, Latah County Free Library District, Moscow, ID (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



"the parties" The parties were Bram's idea- calculated, sophisticated, daring. For a long time they were the best-kept secret in the city. They ended one night when Al nearly killed Raphael. GABE "collecting girls" First Saturday in summer, Johnstone Public Swimming Pool now called Johnstone Park Aquatic Center to match its glitzy new image. I'm sitting here, in my sunglasses, checking the pool. Target: collecting girls. A surly waitress slaps down a cappuccino, weak as cat's piss, slopping into the saucer. I give her my devastating smile, and she stares at me, mouth hanging open. For a moment I consider coaxing her into a smile, but I can't waste time. I turn to survey the poolside. To the right the high-diving pool- young boys jostling, eager to show off. Straight ahead the Olympic pool- two lanes reserved for coaching. To the left the heated pool, and the little kids' pool. Then the grassy banks rolling down to the bay, and clusters of girls and guys. I dig out some coins and leave them on the table. I catch the waitress looking at me, her face wistful. I shouldn't have smiled. Of course I could invite her to the party tonight, but I don't want the bother of looking after her. Better not. I saunter down the steps, scan the main pool for chicks on their own, or with their girlfriends. At the deep end, squealing, are a couple of possibles. I may come back to them later. "so bram says" Tonight the party will be at Chris's house, as his parents are away for the weekend. He's done as Bram told him- informed the neighbors he's having a small gathering, assured them the music won't be too loud, promised that everyone will leave by midnight. Even if they do complain later, there will be no evidence of a party, not even debris in the vacuum cleaner. Chris's parents will feel relieved he took such good care of the house, he'll get off with nothing worse than a mild reprimand. So Bram says. "Impeccable" Bram's planning is impeccable. His "before" photos capture a house precisely. The placement of ornaments, the slant of a rug, even the contents of the fridge are noted and photographed, so by the end of the party everything can be put back in place. He gloats that prideful householders have no idea their beloved home has been at his mercy. Excerpted from One Night by Margaret Wild All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.