It must be terrible to be burned. The flames licking at your face with brutal tenderness and the overwhelming heat that leaves you screaming for ice. It must be even more terrible that after treatment, no one wants anything to do with you, to be dubbed, "Firegirl".
In Tony Abbott's spellbinding book, Firegirl, this is exactly what happens. Seventh grader Tom Bender has almost has the same reaction when burned Jessica Feeney joins his class. She looks ugly and intimidating. All the other students turn against her and in a mass of glaring faces, Tom is the only one brave and kind enough to hold her hand and become her friend.
Firegirl was a roller coaster of emotions. I felt compassion towards Jessica, anger at her peers, and annoyance at Tom for not standing up for her. I was broken hearted to see Jessica move to another place before the end of the book but deep down, I knew that was supposed to happen. How else would Tom know more about the world and its realities if Jessica stayed?
This book was one of the things that made me realize something, that human beings are weak when it comes to peer pressure. It's so hard to take a stand against what you believe is right when everyone around you is doing otherwise. It's frightening to stand out against the crowd. People shun you and you begin to feel like you're not a member of the world anymore. But in the end, people begin to accept the fact that you don't want to be like everyone else and some might even take a stand with you.