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 email@example.com,
Sunshine State list 2003-2004 Grades 6-8)
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.
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Pickens Elementary School, Pickens, SC)