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Cummings, Priscilla.
New York : Dutton Children's Books, 2001.
IL 5-8, RL 6.0
ISBN 0525465227

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

How much do looks matter?  Kelley wakes up in the special burn unit in a Baltimore hospital after a terrible car accident that she can’t remember.  Her face and part of her body are badly burned and her leg is broken.  After numerous surgeries and painful therapy Kelley shuts everyone out.  She stops talking when she finds out she’ll have to wear a plastic mask for a year to help the skin graph on her face heal.  Will Kelley remember the accident?  Will she learn to show people her face first and then the mask like they told to do at the hospital?  How do you think Kelley will make it through this terrible experience?  Find out by reading A Face First by Priscilla Cummings.  (Beth Lindsay, Senior Librarian, Youth Services, South County Regional Library,   Sunshine State list 2003-2004 Grades 6-8)

Booktalk #2

                    Like all sixth grade girls, Kelley spends hours agonizing over the way she looks.  Is her hair straight enough?  Is her skin clear?  Do her clothes match?  On a beautiful spring day in April, her school is celebrating Earth Day by planting a dogwood tree, and Kelley gets to read part of the dedication.  She is more concerned than ever about how she will look in front of her classmates.  She is especially worried about what Daniel will think of her.  Kelley’s friends have told her that Daniel likes her, and she certainly does not want to look stupid in front of him.  To get in the spirit of earth day she paints her fingernails an earthy green and wears her shiny frog earrings.
                    Excerpt from book:
                        “There.  All done!”  Kelley announced.  She blew softly on the finished nail.  “Pretty good, huh?”  She stuck her thumb up in the air for approval.
                        “It’s cute.”
                        The sheen of fresh nail polish.
                        “You’re a hot ticket, Kel…”
                        The smell of her mother's coffee.
                        Kelley would remember the ordinary details of this morning with an uncanny clarity.
                    The rest of her day is a blur.  Science class.  Ballet class.  The rush home.  Then came the sounds that would haunt Kelley for many days to come.  Screams. Breaking glass. Horns blowing.  An explosion that engulfs her in flames so hot that it melts her little frog earrings.
                    Read A Face First by Priscilla Cummings to find out about the moment that changes Kelley’s life forever and leaves her to question the importance of outward appearance.  (Allison L. Powell,,  Pickens Elementary School, Pickens, SC)

SUBJECTS:     Burns and scalds -- Fiction.
                        Maryland -- Fiction.


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