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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  4,032 ratings  ·  652 reviews
Chinese edition of Firegirl. A boy's life was changed when a girl who was burnt started attending his school while being treated at a hospital.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Tai WAN Dong Fang/Tsai Fong Books (first published June 6th 2006)
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At first, I couldn't stop rolling my eyes because Tom and his friend Jeff were the kind of boys I knew when I was, say, ten, and really didn't like. Rambunctous, show-offy, really annoying--yeah, those ones, the ones who would pull on the pig tails of a pretty girl or dare each other to snap the bra strap of another.

But then Jessica Feeney joins their seventh grade class. Jessica has been burned so badly that her face and body are supremely disfigured, almost heinous to look at. She's enrolled...more
Nov 04, 2007 Meagan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Upper Elementary grade and Middle School kids
This is a great book for helping kids think about what it means to be an outsider. The book is narrated by a Catholic school boy, and tells about the short period of time when Jessica Feeney, a young girl who'd been terribly burned, joined the class. The book doesn't flinch away from hard truths and doesn't lecture or condescend to younger readers. The book openly acknowledges that Jessica, with her hard experience and terrible scars, is not the same as her classmates. It explores the fear and g...more
This is one of those stories, friends, that I enjoyed well enough for the half hour it took to read, but that I think maybe won’t be super-appreciated by its target audience.

Now settle down, impassioned thirteen-year-olds who are going to jump down my throat for posting this—I recognize that ALL books have their fans. But Firegirl was just… I anticipate that younger readers will think the pacing is slow and the lack of action is boring.

I mean, look at the opening paragraph:

It wasn’t much, reall...more

This was so surprisingly amazing! Amazing writer that puts the enormous feelings of wanting to be excepted in public view in a simple-to-understand way. This is such a precious book. Tom has a best friend whom he has been friends with for almost 4 years now. They hang out together all the time...until a new girl comes to class and seperates them, without anybody really realizing it until it's too late. The new girl is named Jessica and the two...more
For a young adult book, I can't imagine this book has had much success among young people. It's a heavy read, with little action to move the plot forward in a compelling way, and the narrator is not a very convincing seventh grade boy.

The story - about how a young girl who has disfiguring burns is placed in the narrator's class - works best as a coming of age fable - a tale about the moments when a young person moves closer to the person they would like to be as an adult. Becomes compassionate,...more
Kristina Cardoza
Firegirl is a touching, sad, and memorable novel. It may sound like a book about a superhero, but it's nothing like that! It starts when the new girl, Jessica Feeney, who is "badly burned," comes into Tom Bender's 7th grade class--but only because she needs to go to a infirmary in that area. Everyone is afraid of her--except for Tom. When everyone (including his friends) keeps making fun of Jessica, Tom tells them to stop, but even so, they keep going and that results in him just not being their...more
Jul 30, 2007 Bethany rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 5th - 8th graders
What an interesting story. I actually listened to the audio book on CD, and throroughly enjoyed the narration.

The story is about a boy, Tom, and how he and his class of 7th graders react to a new girl at school who has suffered severe burns all over her body.

The descriptions of Jessica - Firegirl as Tom's so-called friend Jeff calls her - do make you cringe and cause you to identify with what Tom feels and observes in his classmates.

But Tom also thinks the class's treatment of Jessica is wrong,...more
this book is truly inpiring, is you love the books wonder and any other simaliar book, then this book is for you.
Review Originally Posted in blackplume

After the fire that almost burned down our living room last week I saw this book while cleaning my TBR shelf. I remember buying this one almost a month ago because it reminds me of Katniss a.k.a. “The girl on fire” and Stargirl. I decided to finally pick up the book for a short read and I never put it down until the end.

The title suggest that this story is about Jessicca, a girl who is severly burned by fire and moved town to attend school near the hospital...more
We listened to this on tape (excellently read, by the way) on the way to Utah. It pulled me in right away! It was almost hard to concentrate on the road.

Tom is a regular boy in a Catholic school. When Jessica--a girl who was burned almost to death--moves into their class for a few weeks to be closer to a burn specialty hospital, it changes him. He's normal, a little selfish, and scared of the way she looks. The thing that's different about Tom is every time his friends speak unkindly, he gets a...more
Barb Middleton
This slim realistic novel is about 7th grader Tom who learns to deal with fear and friendship when a new girl, Jessica Feeney with a face and body so horribly burned in an accident that her skin looks "melted," becomes a member of their class. The story centers around Tom and his friendship with Jeff whose parents recently divorced and has left Jeff madder than heck at the world. Jeff's anger has made him uncaring toward others, including Tom. Tom gets frustrated with Jeff's hate-the-world attit...more
S.l. L. Lipson
One boy reaches out to connect with a badly burned new girl in his school, while all of the other kids shun her out of fear, disgust, or ignorance. He doesn't aim to play the hero, or pretend to be more mature than his weak peers; in fact, this narrator's honesty reveals him as an accidental good-guy, as afraid as anyone else, but acting out of pure empathy. He's not afraid to show the reader that he cringes when he takes her hand during a circle-formation in class. The prose is tight, frequentl...more
I knew a burned guy. He was 5 or 6 years older than I was, and it happened while he was huffing gas. And it's true, whether it's the young kids in Firegirl, or the people I knew at the time when that guy got burned, there's some sick thing where people want it to be the person's own fault, something specifically deserved, so it couldn't just happen to anybody.

Like Tom's friend Jeff in the book, kids were cruel even about this guy I knew. I remember my cousin who went to school with the guy's si...more
This was a pretty nice little school life drama. It moves pretty quickly, with something interesting happening in every chapter, which to me is a huge plus with any book. And another huge plus - I could completely relate to the characters.

But let's start from the beginning. Firegirl follows Tom, a regular 7th grade kid who is like many other kids - he is somewhat envious of his best friend, Jeff, and he has a crush on a girl named Courtney. Tom regularly daydreams about being a hero and saving C...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

For Tom Bender, seventh grade isn't all that different from the grades that came before. He still attends a private Catholic school, St. Catherine's. He's still pretty much best friends with Jeff Hicks. He still loves the Cobra, a sports car that he spends plenty of time dreaming about. The few things that are different this year? He has great teacher, Mrs. Tracy. Jeff's uncle actually owns a Cobra, and Jeff has promised Tom a ride in it. He's in love with Cour...more
Angelica S
The book Firegirl, written by Tony Abbott is a fiction story about a girl named Jessica and her classmates. Jessica Feeney was a regular girl until she got into a very bad accident. Ever since her accident she has been moving a lot because she needs to go to different hospitals for different treatments. She then moves into Tom's class at St. Catherine’s Catholic School. Mrs. Tracey is the teacher of the class that Jessica will be moving into. One day Mrs. Tracey announces that Jessica will be mo...more
Tom is in Year 7 at Junior High in the US. He shares everything with his best friend, Jeff - except his crush on Courtney. Tom fantasises about rescuing Courtney from all sorts of situations and is always trying to impress her. Into their lives walks Jessica Feeney - a new girl like no other they have met before.

Jessica has survived a terrible fire, which left her with horrific scars. Some kids, including Tom's friend Jeff, cant' even look at her without feeling sick and disgusted. Rumours start...more
Avery Busby
"'There is...' Mrs. Tracy was saying quietly, 'there is something you need to know about Jessica...", a quote from the novel, Firegirl by Tony Abbott. For this chubby, shy boy ,Tom, his life changes when Jessica Feeney enters his seventh grade class. The teacher, Mrs. Tracy made two announcements; there would be a class election and they have acquired a new student. Tom was so determined to nominate his crush, Courtney, for class president that he completely dismissed the second announcement un...more
This was an interesting and quick read. When I first started reading the book I really had no idea what it was going to be about. But I'm glad I read it.

This would be a great and very powerful book for middle school students to read about accepting people for who they are and not what they look like. It's a great way to get a important message to them, through a book.

Tom and his classmates thought they had the perfect life as 7th grade students then a new student arrives, Jessica and everythin...more
I read this book because I was looking for Wonder read-alikes. Although this has some similar themes because a girl named Jessica with severe burns temporarily joins a high school class, it doesn't have the depth of Wonder, or the humor. I think it might work well for teens who like problem fiction. The main character works through issue of peer pressure and figuring out the kind of person he wants to be. Jessica gets some cold reactions from her classmates, even though some try to engage her in...more
"On the outside it doesn't look like very much happened. A burned girl was in my class for a while. Once I brought her some homework. In class she said my name. Then she was gone. That's pretty much all that had happened."

And the thing is, that really is pretty much it. When Jessica Feeney joins his seventh grade class, everything changes. Because Jessica isn't an ordinary new girl. she's a burn victim, and she is covered with horrible, disfiguring burns, all over her body. She isn't there for v...more
Unless you're a saint, you've probably had the experience of saying something really mean about someone because of peer pressure and then feeling mortified immediately afterward. I have. And it's because this feeling is so universal that Firegirl is such an affecting book. We all know what it's like to ostracize someone we should have compassion for, because we're uncomfortable with how we'll be seen by our friends if we associate with them.

I like books about friendship in the face of adversity....more
This was a recent acquisition for my 7th grade library, and even though the story is set in a 7th grade classroom, the book might be a better choice for 6th graders. It's redeeming quality--the reason I bought it for my classroom library--is the poignancy of the character's blossoming capacity for empathy and sensitivity to someone different. The girl who helps him cultivate this capacity is a new girl in school, horribly disfigured in a fire. The lessons he learns about himself and others mark...more
A quiet book about the nature of friendship, and having the courage to say what you feel. 7th grader Tom's life changes when new girl Jessica joins his class. She was badly burned in an accident and is an outcast from other students, and Tom isn't exactly popular either. Gradually he gets to know her better, at the same time that he and his longtime best friend are starting to grow apart over stuff like cars and comic books. Has funny scenes where Tom imagines he'd rescue the class's hot popular...more
I read this book back in fourth grade, but I was re-reading it recently and I thought this one deserved a review, so here it is... :)

I'll admit now, the beginning of this was kind of boring. We had Tom and Jeff, your typical average 10 year old boys. It was pretty dull; not too magical or intricate or anything. I'm sure a zoned out a page or two.

Thankfully, the pace began to really pick up when Jessica entered the story. From the moment that she walked into the classroom, Tom was never the same...more
This is a quick read that really gets you questioning your internal self.

The story is not about the girl burn victim, as the title suggests. Rather, the story is about a classmate who learns about himself through befriending the burn victim when no one else would. The book brings up a myriad of questions for you to reflect on after you've read the novel. Who are you when no one is looking? Are you willing to defend yourself against those who make fun of you for acting differently? Are you willi...more
April Poulter
Being modern realism, Firegirl is not a happy, go-lucky story. The title and summary themselves tell you that it's about a sad topic - a girl, Jessica, who's body got so burned in a tragic accident that her skin/body is deformed. As some of the students say, it looks "melted." That being said, such a tragedy is made worse by the fact that Jessica is in the seventh grade; she goes to school and is surrounded by 12- and 13- year olds who can be very cruel. Instead of seeing past her appearance and...more
Caitlin Carver
There were parts of this book that I really liked, but I wasn't in love with all of it. I think a major theme of this book is tolerance, acceptance, and love. Tom is just a typical teenager. He has friends, he reads comics, he's obsessed with red cobra cars, and he has a crush on the cute girl in his class. He's not outstandingly handsome or charming; he's regular. This makes it easier to relate the book to anyone's life. Everyone feels just regular sometimes. But when Jessica moves into his cla...more
Mar 14, 2014 Jasmine rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No
This books has been catching my eye at the library when I was with the kids so I grabbed it after a few near misses. I was not that impressed and I really question whether this is a book kids would enjoy and relate to versus the type of books adults want kids to like and think are important.

I found Tom's life rather depressing and socially an anomaly. As a parent of 3 and one whom like Tom prefers his own company, the kid did very little in those three weeks and that seemed the norm. His parent...more
Based on all of the details (the name of the school and its proximity to Bridgeport), it would appear that this story takes place in the town where I live. Kind of cool, and perhaps I'm focusing on the wrong thing here, but there is very little chance that a family would stay here and commute 20-30 minutes to Yale Hospital for treatments. Or that said family would go to Yale when they lived in Boston, with its famed Children's Hospital, but I digress.

The author visited my son's school this year,...more
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Should I read this book? 22 47 Dec 29, 2013 07:48AM  
Little Falls High...: Firegirl 5 12 Jan 29, 2013 10:53AM  
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Tony Abbott (born 1952) is an American author of children's books. His most popular work is the book series The Secrets of Droon, which includes over 40 books. He has sold over 12 million copies of his books and they have been translated into several other languages, including Italian, Spanish, Korean, French, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, and Russian. He has also written the bestseller "Firegirl".
More about Tony Abbott...
The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (The Secrets of Droon, #1) Journey to the Volcano Palace (The Secrets of Droon, #2) The Mysterious Island (The Secrets of Droon, #3) City in the Clouds (The Secrets Of Droon, #4) The Great Ice Battle (The Secrets of Droon, #5)

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“On the outside it doesn't look like very much happened. A burned girl was in my class for a while. Once I brought her some homework. In class she said my name. Then she was gone. That's pretty much all that happened.” 4 likes
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