Study Guide

The First Part Last Love

By Angela Johnson

Love

This isn't your usual teen book about love, one in which two star-crossed lovers overcome all obstacles and run toward each other through a flower-filled field. The love in The First Part Last has far more depth than most high school crushes—after all, we're talking about the love Bobby has for the mother of his child, as well as the love Bobby's parents have for him that guides him toward becoming a good a father. But most of all, the love in this book flows from Bobby to his baby daughter, Feather. And this love for her, and hers for him, changes his entire world.

Questions About Love

  1. How is love wrapped up with duty and responsibility in the novel?
  2. Does Bobby really love Nia? Does she really love him? What makes you say this?
  3. What sorts of sacrifices do people in the novel make because of love? Think of Bobby, Mary, Fred, Nia, and Nia's parents.
  4. What different kinds of love are present in The First Part Last, and how do the characters' actions and words in the novel demonstrate these types?

Chew on This

Being a father is the only thing that shows Bobby what love really is.

If Bobby's parents really loved him, they would take care of Feather and let him be a regular sixteen-year-old boy.

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