About the book:
Author: Tony Abbott
Genre & Age Group: Realistic fiction, contemporary, middle grade
“…there is…” Mrs. Tracy was saying quietly, “there is something we need to know about Jessica…”
From this moment on, life is never quite the same for Tom and his seventh-grade classmates. They learn that Jessica has been in a fire and was badly burned, and will be attending St. Catherine’s while getting medical treatments. Despite her horrifying appearance and the fear she evokes in him and most of the class, Tom slowly develops a tentative friendship with Jessica that changes his life.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: My teacher had a few of them in the classroom for lit circles books and I was interested in it, but she decided not to use it for that purpose so I read it on my own time.
Review: What a beautiful, heartwarming story! I found the characters so well-developed, and it portrayed such an amazing life lesson! Tom, the protagonist, was such a supportive and kind friend to Jessica, even when others were not. He didn’t care about what anyone thought about him becoming friends with her, and he was very sympathetic and caring about Jessica’s feelings. His reputation at school may have been at stake, but he had the courage to take the risk to be kind to someone who may have been a little different than him and needed it, which I think is amazing. Even though Jessica didn’t really want to be at his school (or any school, as a matter of fact) because of embarrassment due to her burns and because of all her new, mean classmates (except for Tom), Tom made her experience there ever so better. While I was reading it, I really felt for Jessica. She had been an ordinary girl with her own hopes and dreams before she got burned, and she loved her life and had a lot to look forward to in her future, in fact, she was coming from a dance recital (one of her passions), when the accident which burned her had happened. Because of the burns, she had to throw all her dreams away and her life was changed in an instant. She went from having dreams of dance to having dreams of just survival, all in a matter of minutes. From this book, I learned that even if you think a little gesture is next to nothing, it can make (or ruin) someone’s day, and mean a lot to them. Even though Matt didn’t really think about it, his efforts with Jessica really impacted her, and for the first time in a while, made her feel good about herself! This book may be middle grade, but whether you are of that age or not, it is not to be missed!
Rating: 5/5 Stars!
30 Day Book Challenge:
Today’s prompt is a book that disappointed me. When I read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, since it was a classic, I expected it to be a 4 or 5 star read. Isn’t the quality of it what makes it a classic? Instead, I was pretty bored while reading it. The story was good, but it was REALLY slow. I felt like it could have been a lot shorter, because there were so many filler scenes! Review to come soon!