Sheila Cole

What Kind of Love?: The Diary of a Pregnant Teenager

Valerie Larch’s life was going along fine. She had good friends, a stable family, and the promise of a career in music. She also had Peter Winder, the love of her life. When she finds herself pregnant everything suddenly changes. Peter says he loves her, but has to finish school, go to college, get on with his life. Valerie wishes she could get on with her life and with her music career. But she lives each day with the reality Peter wants to forget - and it is she who must make the impossible choices for which love has no answers.

In her diary, Val pours out her conflicting emotions as she faces the most difficult decision of her young life: Will she keep her baby or give it up for adoption?

Sheila Cole wrote this story in attempt to better understand what it is like for young people to go through an unwanted pregnancy. When she began writing, she could not understand how a girl could bring herself to give up her baby for adoption. The novel was her attempt to work out a plausible explanation of what might bring someone to do such a thing.

What Kind of Love is full of factual information, ranging from frank discussions about sex and the discomforts of pregnancy to what is involved in putting a baby up for adoption. This information is conveyed in an interesting story line. …[It is] Val’s determination to hang on to her romantic vision that drives the story.”

“Cole’s research and proven writing ability combine to create characters and a plot credible enough to hold readers’ interest. By limiting the book to only part of Valerie’s story, the author leaves readers wondering whether or not she will go through with the adoption and what her life will be like if she doesn’t, effectively causing them to relate to her dilemma and to ponder the consequences of her decision.”
--Dona Weisman for School Library Journal

Selected Works

"An exceptional job of showing readers what life was like for children in times past." School Library Journal
“Solid, truthful writing about a teenager wrestling with the greatest of dilemmas”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
A portrait of a Mary Anning, who in 1811, when she was only 13 years old, discovered the first complete fossil of an ichthyosaur.
Lisa learns that meaning well is not enough. It's the doing that counts. "A common peer group situation...dealt with bluntly and convincingly." Booklist
Eleven-year-old Zachary tries to stop the development of the local canyon he loves.