Christina and her best friend Megan are in middle school and decide to try out for the cheerleading squad. Christina and Megan have parents who come from other countries, and they have always felt like outsiders among their classmates in Texas. As Christina and Megan practice and get ready for the tryout, they realize they are starting to like different things and that’s ok. This is a great story about growing up and figuring out what is important to you, and what makes you who you are.
Middle School can be a little rough for anyone, but for Ross, it’s especially rough. He’s just been diagnosed with cancer of his eye! So not only does he have to go for radiation treatments, he also has to go to school wearing an eye patch (like a pirate!), and he has to keep putting some sort of eye “goop” on his eye all through the day at school. It can’t get much worse than this, right?
But it does. His hair begins to fall out, and there’s a chance he may lose his sight in that eye. 7th Grade would be a completely miserable year if it weren’t for his band.
Oh, yeah! His band! That’s a real high point! Will it be enough to get him to get through the school year?
Author Rob Harrell actually lived this life and then wrote a book about it for us. Read to see how Ross’s school year goes.
The author describes how her feelings overwhelm her, especially when seeing the world, or people, or animals in pain. “Everywhere she looked there were beautiful things. But there were sad things too. She felt so much, sometimes her feelings overwhelmed her.” So she made herself a thick-skinned rhino-suit, where she lived in to hide her pain.
She came to realize that having a “thick skin”, also kept out the happy things, as well. “When she was in the rhino suit, she also couldn’t feel the breeze on her skin, smell the flowers, or hear the birds singing.” She realized that not all people have a special gift of being sensitive to others when they are hurting, and she could use her feelings to actually do something to help the world around her. Being a “deeply feeling person is a wonderful thing to be.”