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FIREGIRL by Tony Abbott

FIREGIRL

By Tony Abbott

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-316-01171-1
Publisher: Little, Brown

Seventh-grader Tom Bender is nowhere near the in-crowd at St. Catherine’s Catholic School. He does, nonetheless, have a crush on popular Courtney, and he fantasizes about saving her from wild disasters. Tom’s only friend Jeff is struggling to deal with his parents’ divorce as well as his father’s indifference, and Jeff does so by acting out and lying. Not long after the start of the school year, Jessica Feeney joins their class. She’s a burn survivor who’s in town for treatment. The students don’t know how to act around her. Jeff finds her abhorrent; Courtney feels sorry for her. A little scared at first, Tom slowly gets to know Jessica and misses her when she leaves abruptly. His short friendship with Jessica has gotten him noticed by Courtney and has started to draw him out of his shell. Prolific fantasy author Abbott has created a realistic wallflower struggling to bloom. However, Tom’s fantasies quickly become repetitive, and several logical inconsistencies keep this from being totally successful, despite its worthy messages. (Fiction 9-12)