A NovelBook - 1996
Includes a Reading Group Guide
Precious Jones, an illiterate sixteen-year-old, has up until now been invisible to the father who rapes her and the mother who batters her and to the authorities who dismiss her as just one more of Harlem's casualties. But when Precious, pregnant with a second child by her father, meets a determined and radical teacher, we follow her on a journey of education and enlightenment as she learns not only how to write about her life, but how to make it truly her own for the first time.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
My clit swell up I think daddy. ...pump my pussy in out in out in out awww I come. ...[my daddy] start sucking my tittie.
...am choking between [mom’s] legs A HUH HUH. She is smelling big woman smell. She say suck it, lick me... her hand like a mountain pushing my head down.
Crackers is the cause of everything bad. It why my father act like he do... So [my father] fuck me, fuck me, beat me...
Nigger, how you gonna marry me when you is my daddy... fucking me is illegal. But she kept her mouth shut so’s the fuckin’ don’t turn into a beating. It start to feel good... [she] start coming...
...felt her mother’s hand between her thighs... felt her mother’s... fingers... knew by the smell in the room her mother’s hand was between her own legs...
...knowing a man can put his dick in you , gush white stuff in your booty you could get pregnant. I’m 12 now, I been knowing about that since I was 5 or 6... always known about pussy and dick.”
I...... the pages look alike to me.” Ms. Rain says, “I think I understand you, Precious. But for now, I want you to try, push yourself Precious, go for it” (Sapphire 54).
Clareece 'Precious' Jones: Please don't lie to me, Ms. Rain! Love ain't done nothing for me... but beat me... rape me... call me an animal! Make me feel worthless! Make me sick!
Age SuitabilityAdd Age Suitability
K_ROK thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over
GamerChick2yrold thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 35
Sexual Content: An adult man has sexual relations with a child; a mother forces her daughter to give her oral sex.
Coarse Language: The language to the main character is severely abusive.
SummaryAdd a Summary
The school has decided to send her to an alternative school because she is pregnant. Precious is furious, but the counselor later visits Precious's home and convinces her to enter an alternative school called Each One Teach One. Despite her mother's insistence that she apply for welfare, Precious enrolls in the school. She meets her teacher, Ms. Blue Rain, and fellow students Rhonda, Jermaine, Rita, Jo Ann, and Consuelo. All of the girls come from troubled backgrounds. Ms. Rain's class is a pre-GED class for young women who are below an eighth-grade level in reading and writing and therefore are unprepared for high school-level courses. They start off by learning the basics of phonics and vocabulary building. Despite their academic and personal deficits, Ms. Rain strives to ignite a passion in her students for literature and writing. She believes that the only way to learn to write is to write every day. Each girl is required to keep a journal. Ms. Rain reads their entries and provides feedback and advice. By the time the novel ends, the women have created an anthology of autobiographical short stories called "LIFE STORIES – Our Class Book" appended to the book. The works of classic African-American writers like Audre Lorde, Alice Walker and Langston Hughes are inspirational for the students. Precious is particularly moved by The Color Purple.