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‘Don’t disturb Mrs Greasly next door. You know how cross she gets about noise late at night.’ Her mum tugs with anxious fingers at her handbag. ‘I know.’ Olivia nods. ‘And don’t excite Sandy.’ ‘She’ll be with Alice.’ Her dad jingles his car keys. ‘Use the carpet spray under the sink if you spill anything.’ Her mum loiters on the doorstep. Olivia’s dying to close the door. ‘I will.’ ‘Oh, and remember Alice. Check on her, won’t you? You know how scared she gets with strangers.’ Olivia stares at the doormat, tracing patterns with her toe. Just go, will you?

About the book

Five friends. A party. One unexpected guest.

When Olivia opens the bathroom door, the last thing she expects to see is her best friend Nicola giving birth on the floor - and to say Nicola is shocked is an understatement. She's not ready to be a mum, and she needs Olivia's help. But Olivia has her own problems - specifically her bullying boyfriend, Jonty, and keeping an eye on younger sister Alice. And then there's Nicola's friend Ben, who's struggling with secrets of his own ...

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Press reviews

“This was such a good read that I read it in a day and couldn’t do anything else until it was finished.”

The Sun

“Love, love, loved The Baby by Lisa Drakeford. It’s a powerful, brilliant story and the writing is amazing. A fave of mine!”

Lisa Heathfield, author of Seed

“Drakeford’s debut is a contemporary, real, challenging novel that takes on some of the lesser-explored issues of teen life … A great addition to the YA scene.”

We Love This Book

“I read it straight away and I loved it … it’s incredible and I just enjoyed it so, so much.”

Queen of Contemporary

“This is perfect for fans of Non Pratt. Overall, I loved this book as I knew I would, and I reckon it’s the epitome of good UKYA. Fingers crossed Drakeford has something else in the pipeline because I would love to read more of her work, and I definitely recommend The Baby if you’re after something a little different.”

The Mile Long Bookshelf

“Written with urgency and style, this is good stuff …”

The Independent

“I enjoyed feeling like each of the characters had their own little story within the overall arc; it was refreshing … With an unexpected twist, a fascinating structure and genuine, interesting characters, The Baby is a solid debut and I’ll be looking out for more from Lisa Drakeford.”

So Little Time for Books

“This is a sensitive topic superbly handled by Drakeford … I particularly marvelled at how she changed my opinion of damaged soul Jonty, he became my favourite character in the end. Excellent.”

Askews and Holts

“The strength of the novel is its concentration on parenting and responsibilities, while the unusual ending suggests a welcome sequel.”

Irish Examiner

“Drakeford’s The Baby is entertaining, witty and often quite poignant. It includes incredibly well-written relationships of being a young adult and teenage me is truly fulfilled!”

Cuckoo Review

“Each of the five characters’ stories were really interesting and I thought it was great how each character’s story really builds on the overall theme of teen pregnancy/parenthood whilst also giving each character time to shine in their own right … The Baby was something a bit different and I really liked that.”

Fluttering Butterflies

“This fantastic book is told from the five different protagonists’ point of view, and each chapter allows you a deeper understanding of the characters and the reasons behind their actions … A great read and highly recommended.”


The Baby is more than about pregnancy, its about friendship, family, and believing in yourself … Lisa has done a good job in making these problems accessible and real for others to relate to.”

Much Loved Books

“Very direct and immediate storytelling … the author has a sure touch, confident approach and a lively imagination; definitely a talent to watch.”

Books for Keeps

Author notes

'Strange things happen at parties. The Baby is about the effect an unexpected birth at a party has on the five people involved. I like the idea that one incident can have an impact on all the people around it and this impact is different depending on how you are connected to the event. I find it interesting that we can all have a different view on one single thing.'

The Baby in the news

THE CRASH is out today!

Lisa Drakeford's perfect UKYA novel The Crash is out today!

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NaNoWriMo Nov Day 9: Lisa Drakeford

For those hoping to enter the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition, who better to get writing tips from than a previous shortlistee? Lisa Drakeford was shortlisted for our comp back in 2014 with her novel The Baby (then called Birthday Surprise). We loved it so much, we couldn't let it go: fast-forward a year and Lisa's book was on bookshop shelves with a Chicken House logo on its spine!

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