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Parents' Guide to

A Face First

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

A realistic look at the life of a burn victim.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (4 ):

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.

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