One of the Survivors
Joey and Maureen were the lucky ones. The fire alarm had been constantly going off that day at school. Each time the intercom would come on, telling everyone that they were testing the new alarm system. But the last time it goes off, the intercom message is fuzzy. Mr. Austen is annoyed by the interruptions to his class and he tells everyone to ignore the alarm again. But Joey can’t. His mother died the previous year in a fire, and he and his best friend are the only people in the class to defy their teacher and evacuate their classroom. They are also the only ones to survive the fire that kills everyone else.
Needless to say, Joey is traumatized by the whole thing. Afraid to be in his house and harassed by those who blame him for the fire (looking for someone to blame, he and Maureen became the natural, albeit innocent, scapegoats) Joey cannot get past what has happened to him. There are those, however, who can and do help him get over the trauma.
I have read two books by Susan Shaw and I think that she has “child who is traumatized by terrible event that has happened” down pat. I especially love Joey’s father who is patient and loving and everything a father needs to be in such a terrible situation. Overall I enjoyed this book, but it’s a quiet book and so won’t appeal to those who feel the need to have action on every page.
The copy that I reviewed came from my school library.