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Firegirl

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  4,587 ratings  ·  697 reviews
"...there is..." Mrs. Tracy was saying quietly, "there is something we need to know about Jessica..."

From this moment on, life is never quite the same for Tom and his seventh-grade classmates. They learn that Jessica has been in a fire and was badly burned, and will be attending St. Catherine's while getting medical treatments. Despite her horrifying appearance and the fea
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Kindle Edition, 164 pages
Published November 15th 2008 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published June 6th 2006)
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Popular Answered Questions

indigo truax Yes, I did read this in the fifth grade and from then on it changed my life.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kirsten Jessica's car caught on fire when she was in sixth grade. Neither of her parents were in the fire.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Minli
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
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Monica!
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
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Meagan
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
Haley
It was great. Very inspiring especially since I read it when I was younger, but it's still a great read.
Isabella Schmitz
Firegirl, written by Tony Abbott is a story about friendship, bullies and fitting in. Much like Wonder this story is about finding who you are on the inside an not who you are on the outside. The theme of this book is people come and go so quickly out of your life, so take advantage of them while they are there.
It all starts with when a girl named Jessica Feeney walks into Tom's class at St. Catherine's School. Without a doubt the entire class knew right away that Jessica was different. Her fa
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MizziQ
***SPOILER***SPOILER***SPOILER***SPOILER***SPOILER***

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
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Joanna
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,
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Jen
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
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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
Bethany
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,
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Ella
this book is truly inpiring, is you love the books wonder and any other simaliar book, then this book is for you.
Ardit Sadiku
I decided to read this book because it looks quite interesting. The book is called "Firegirl" by Tony Abbott. The book is about a boy named Tom Bender, who is going to the seventh grade at St. Catherine's Him and his student saw a new student named Jessica Feeney who looked quite different. Some kids would call her the "burned" girl. Tom and his friends were quite shocked by her appearance. Despite the fact that some of kids were saying mean stuff behind her back, Tom creates a tending friendshi ...more
blackplume
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
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Lizzy
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
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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
Chris
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
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

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
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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
Sue
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
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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
Lindsey
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
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Miss_Nelson
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
Lucy
"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
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Bea Bolinger
I appreciated that this story was told from the point of view of an intervert. he needs time to process what is going on, most of the "action" takes place in his head and deals with understanding his emotions. I liked how the story built up but it's one of those endings that leaves you feeling...
rachel
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.
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Lon
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
Kammera
The main character Tom, a middle schooler in 7th grade learns how to treat the new girl in his class,a horrible burn victim with a little kindness. Even though he is in 7th grade, I feel like he and his callous friend, Jeff should be in about 4th or 5th grade. The characters and the plot line needed to be a little more developed. I was touched by the scene where Tom hugs Jessica and also Courtney actually talks to Tom. I thought , Finally! something interesting here!! I think my 5th graders woul ...more
Christina
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
William Yung
The opening paragraph explains this book in a nutshell:

It wasn’t much, really, the whole Jessica Feeney thing. If you look at it, nothing much happened. She was a girl who came into my class after the beginning of the year and was only there for a couple of weeks or so. Stuff did get a little crazy for a while, but it didn’t last long, and I think it was mostly in my head anyway. Then she wasn’t there anymore. That was pretty much it.

So really, nothing really happens. There's a lot of internal s
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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".
Ab
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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.” 5 likes
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