Book Review: Firegirl by Tony Abbott

Title: Firegirl

Author: Tony Abbott

Genre: Middle Grade Realistic Fiction

Number of Pages: 164

Rating: C+

Recommended?: No

After reading this book and Junk Boy, I think I’m done with Tony Abbott. I just don’t vibe with his writing style. Firegirl is about a quiet boy named Tom and his unlikely friendship with Jessica Feeney, a horribly disfigured girl who starts going to his school. Tom is friends with a boy named Jeff who’s kind of a jerk, and Jeff and some of the other kids spread rumors about Jessica and make fun of her. Tom is also made very uncomfortable by Jessica’s injuries, and he is forced to face his own flaws in the way he treats her.

There just isn’t enough time put into Tom and Jessica’s friendship to explain the profound effect she has on him. Jessica barely says anything for most of the book, and there’s just a few scenes where the two of them actually interact. Some of the dialogue felt very over-the-top, especially Jeff’s. I got that he was a jerk but his animosity towards Jessica felt exaggerated, almost cartoonish. I liked Tom’s character’s journey but I thought this story could have been a lot better.

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