A Face First

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
November/December 2002

By Priscilla Cummings, Reviewed by Tahani Al-Salem

A Face First book cover

A Face First by Priscilla Cummings; Dutton
Children’s Books: New York, 2001; $16.99

When Kelley got in the accident it made me realize how precious life really is. The poor girl is only in sixth grade and she is scarred for life. I cried as I read about all the things that happened to Kelley, and the way she felt about life; she wanted to die if she had to look the way she did. I can’t imagine how life could be so bad that you would want to die. This book showed me how quickly your life can change, from being healthy and great to being at the hospital with a broken leg and having third-degree burns on your face and body. Thinking of how quickly things can change reminded me of September 11. How the day before the nation was bright and on September 11 the nation was torn and shattered; that one day has scarred the nation forever. Kelley is scarred forever in what happened to her, for the thought that she will never look the way she used to. Priscilla Cummings, the author, described everything so well. I felt like I was there watching the whole accident, and being there at the hospital with Kelley it is unbelievable how she describes everything. One part that I think was just unbelievably moving is when Kelley’s sister Leah was in Paris for college, and she wanted to come home because of Kelley’s accident. Kelley knows that going to college in Paris is her sister’s dream so she begs her not to come; her sister says she won’t come. Then when Kelley comes home from the hospital, Leah comes without telling Kelley. Kelley is so happy to see her. The thought that Kelley was thinking of her sister and her dream of going to college in Paris, before thinking of herself and how much she needed her sister at the time, was really moving. This book is so truthful because the story it tells is so true. I don’t think people want to realize it though—the fact that there is a chance you can die tomorrow, or that you will be diagnosed with cancer, or get in an accident. This book does not hide the truth, it tells it, and that is something I really like about this book. This book changed my outlook on life, and it will change yours too.

A Face First Tahani AI-Salem

Tahani Al-Salem, 11
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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