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**A Face First

by Priscilla Cummings

Reviewed June 1, 2002.
Dutton Children’s Books, 2001.  197 pages.

A Face First is the story of a girl named Kelley who is badly burned in a car accident, and her process of recovery.  The book is well-written.  It would have been easy to get sentimental or get mired in Kelley’s understandably volatile emotions.  The author does neither, telling the story with just the right touch.  She doesn’t try too hard to make us care, and we find ourselves caring very much about Kelley and her recovery.

This book kept me reading late into the night.  (No, early into the morning, really!)  It takes us through Kelley’s operations and the procedures she must go through.  She even has to wear a mask over her scar tissue to help it grow in smoothly.  After she goes home, she must decide if she can face going back to school again, or if she would rather retreat from the world and home school until she has had more surgery.

This is an excellent book, suitable for any age that can handle the reading level.  One thing I like about reading is that it puts you into the place of people with lives completely different from your own.  How would I respond if my face were completely disfigured?  And am I able to look past surface appearance and see the person inside?  

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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