A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a delicate but realistic look at the ordeal of a burn victim, and it's an especially valuable story for burn victims and their friends and families. The car accident that causes Kelley's injuries is violent, to be sure; but it's not described in overly graphic detail. Still, your children might need help processing it.
Is It Any Good?
Priscilla Cummings understands many important things. Her first novel, Autumn Journey, was a complex, lyrical, and powerfully emotional tale. This one takes a complex and powerfully emotional situation and renders it in straightforward, no-nonsense, unembellished prose. Clearly she's an author who knows when to let the material speak for itself.
While not shying away from the grimmer aspects of Kelley's treatment, such as the peeling off of the burned skin, she does so in a delicate, careful way that shows she clearly understands what upper elementary and middle school children can handle. And she understands her characters, too. There are no nasty insensitive peers or strangers or other author tricks to cultivate the reader's sympathy for Kelley -- in fact, no villains at all. Just the long, hard slog of a loving family working their way back from disaster.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate