When Jeffrey Alper was four, he was diagnosed with a form of cancer called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He is now in eighth grade and still has some long term effects from the disease like having a limp in one of his legs and not being able to concentrate from his medications. His best friend is Thad, another kid who had cancer and is now in remission. As the book goes on, Thad’s cancer relapses. Thad is a smart kid who acts as Jeffrey’s mentor. He teaches Jeffrey lessons for the test at the end of the year that he has to pass in order to move onto high school, which he thinks he’s going to fail.
When I was reading this book, a lesson that I learned in this book is to live your life to the fullest. A reason why is, Jeffrey and Thad both have come face to face with death and survived. Now, Thad has to face cancer again, and Jeffrey is making sure that they do as many things as possible to make Thad do his favorite things and forget about his disease.
My favorite thing about this book is that it speaks to a community that is rarely spoken about when it comes to novels, the cancer community. I also like how realistic this book is. The author includes everything about what Jeffrey went through to get over cancer and a lot of things that Thad went through fighting cancer. I think that it was great how they described the world through Jeffrey’s eyes as a cancer survivor getting over the disease.
The setting in this book is mainly at their middle school where all of the fun times and crazy adventures happen. Another place is Jeffrey’s house, this is where Jeffrey and Thad go to hang out to get away from all of their issues such as, cancer, school, etc. This is where Jeffrey and Thad’s friendship really grows because they can relate to each other so much.
My thoughts on this book is that it is one of my favorites. While reading this book, I never got bored. I felt like I could relate with Jeffrey at some points because he was a kid who made more friends as the book went on, and I felt the same way, because when I went to middle school because I came from a school where I didn’t really know anyone outside of my school. Just like Jeffrey I feel like I have made more friends as I have gotten older. I would recommend this book to someone who feels out of place or is shy, because, Jeffrey is a perfect example of a kid like that who overcame his shyness and made a lot of new friends as time went on.