6th Grade and Up
Eleven-year-old Joe cant remember a life outside of his hospital room, with its beeping machines and view of Londons rooftops. His condition means hes not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his bubble. Then a new nurse offers Joe the possibility of going outside. But Joe doesnt know if the nurse is seriousor whether he could survive the adventure.
Ive been saying for years now that disabilities/differences dont need to define you. That living with a disability/difference doesnt have to control your life. But this kid has a bigger real-life problem than any of the kids Ive read about before. This kid doesnt just have a regular disability. He has a full-on illness. This kid might have it tougher than any kid Ive ever read about before in the way of diseases. Joe hasnt been able to leave his hospital for most of his eleven-year-old life because of his autoimmune disease, a life-threatening disease. If he were to go outside, he could catch any disease in the world and die. He is constantly bombarded by side effects from new drugs the doctors put him on and has had so many blood transfusions that hes lost count.
Im not sure how old someone should be to read this story. If you can handle the details of a blood transfusion, youre brave enough to read this book. If youre not, skip Chapter 8. Im twenty-four, and I almost couldnt handle it. I know for a fact I wouldnt have been able to handle it as a kid. Then again, half the time, Im just as mature now as I was back in elementary school. If you think you can handle it, go right ahead. Just felt like I should warn you.
I dont read many books about kids with real illnesses because they make me sad and anxious. I felt this book was worth reading because Joes condition fascinates me. This book reminds me of an episode of the CBS show Scorpion. The show is about a group of geniuses who solve complex global problems and save lives. The episode Im thinking of in particular is Season 3, Episode 18 (Dont Burst My Bubble). The episode is about Team Scorpion helping a girl, Ada, who has a severe immunodeficiency brought on by aplastic anemia.
Even though this is a sad book, its worth reading.
This weeks Weird but True Fact about Germs
Only 0.1% of bacteria actually make you sick.