Firegirl written by Tony Abbott is a powerful middle grade book about a young boy named Jeff that finds an unlikely friendship with a girl named Jessica who is a burn victim. Jeff’s life changes when his teacher announces that there will be a new student in the class. All of the students are excited until the teacher announces that Jessica is different. When she explains that Jessica was in a terrible fire and suffered burns to her whole body, the 7th grade students are anxious about meeting this new student.
At first, Jeff is scared by Jessica’s appearance. However, as the story unfolds, Jeff begins to befriend Jessica and see beyond her appearance. This short friendship changes Jeff’s perspective and has a profound effect on him.
I read this book in two days and couldn’t put it down. As a reader, there are so many emotions as you read the book including empathy, discovery, fear and then sadness. It’s an excellent book that can be read as an independent reading book but also an ideal book to be read aloud to a middle school or older elementary class. There are many valuable lessons that children can learn from reading this book including friendship, empathy and seeing beyond a person’s appearance.
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Are you looking for a reading guide for Firegirl? Check out this readers guide here here that can help facilitate conversation about this powerful middle grade book.
Are you looking for a sequel to this book? Tony Abbott wrote The Great Jeff, which I am looking forward to reading next!