Parents' Guide to

Scars Like Wings

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Inspiring story of a burned teen finding her new normal.

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

It's about so much more...

If you thought Wonder was good, this is about a girl who wasn't born with her scars, so she must learn to embrace them and herself after a devastating fire claimed the lives of her mom, dad, and cousin and left her with scars more painful than the ones on her body.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

A teen disfigured in a fire copes with devastating loss and the difficulty of finding her new normal in this inspiring and engaging story. High school is hard enough without facing it dramatically scarred, but in Scars Like Wings, Ava Lee has to do just that. Navigating a new school with severe burns is the ultimate test of her will and confidence. By putting Ava in that position, author Erin Stewart heightens the stakes in the typical teen issues high schoolers face, such as cliques, self-esteem, friendships, and dating, but there’s enough humor in the story to lighten the heaviness of the topic.

Ava's story and her friendship with Piper provide great insight into the different ways people deal with trauma. Ava shuts the world out, saying that she's giving her old friends a pass on having to deal with her, but in reality she's closing herself off to prevent any further hurt. Piper is loud and brash, but she's more shut down emotionally than she cares to admit. The story shows that pushing everyone away isn't the answer, nor is putting on a brave face and pretending all is OK. The balance between protecting your feelings and reaching out for help is important. As Ava works through group therapy, she writes poetry that breaks up the narrative and gives the reader insight into her emotional healing journey. The social drama at her high school is a cliché at times and some of the other students are stereotypes, but that part of the plot offers a look at the complicated emotions of people trying to figure how to support and deal with survivors. In general, Stewart does a good job of showing how one person's life-changing trauma has a ripple effect and can change the lives of those around them.

Book Details

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