Firegirl by Tony Abbott
As if there was a person in there.It seems so stupid to even say something like that. But that’s what I felt. It was hard to think about her as being like the rest of us. (Pg 47)
I just finished reading the novel Firegirl, by Tony Abbott. This is a terrific story that introduces us to a young girl who was badly injured in a fire, as seen through the eyes of her classmate, Tom. Tom is the protagonist of the story and he also acts as the narrator. Tom is in Grade 7, is best friends with a boy named Jeff. He loves fast cars (especially the Cobra) and has a huge crush on a girl in his class named Courtney. Life is pretty normal for Tom until a new girl – Jessica – joins the class.
Jessica, in case you haven’t guessed is the girl who was burned in the fire. (Hence the title, Firegirl) When she first joins Tom’s class, the other kids, including Tom, have a hard time trying to figure out how to talk to her.
This short book (only 145 pages) deals with a number of issues that most people can relate to. Accepting people who look different than you or have different abilities than you is something that can be difficult for some people to do. When faced with meeting a new friend who looks different, like Jessica does, can make people grow and learn many of their negative reactions are actually based in their own fear. More often than not, that fear is unfounded and not really based on anything real.
Realizing that there are real people with real stories and real feelings inside each and every human is a step on the path to maturity. I guess you could put this book in the coming of age category for that reason too!
Will Tom be able to see Jessica for who is really is inside? Will the other students accept Jessica just as any other girl? How does Jessica feel about all of this? Read Tony Abbott’s Firegirl and find out!