Firegirl by Tony Abbott is one of the shortest books I have read. From the title, it looks like it’s about some girl with superpower to play with fire but it’s not.
It’s about Jessica Feeney who was almost burnt to death in a terrible car accident. She joins a high school and is looked at with disgust and fear by her fellow seventh-graders. No one talks to her in class and she is left alone. It really shows a very immature cruel face of kids when they make up all kinds of stories about Jessica’s accident.
Tom and Jeff are two of her classmates and best friends. Tom is an introvert shy guy, has a hug crush on pretty Courtney and dreams about saving her as a superhero. When he is asked to take Jessica’s homework to her home, he gets to see her room and realizes she is just like any other girl of her age, except for her ugly scars.
They talk like normal kids and Tom says one doesn’t need to have BIG superpowers. It was so innocent when he says he would be happy to have an indestructible finger or ability to whistle too loudly as a superpower. He is the only one who connects to Jessica.
Jessica is grateful to him because he was the only one who said her name. There are quite a few such touching moments in the otherwise short novel. Before Tom could fully acknowledge Jessica’s condition and show more empathy, she leaves the town with her parents. It’s not a kind of book to be read with too many expectations but will surely linger in your mind for a while after you have read it.