When I wrote Firegirl, published thirteen years ago now, like most readers, I had a problem with Jeff Hicks, a boy who bullied both Tom Bender, who tells the story, and Jessica, a girl whose horrific accident left her disfigured and isolated. While Tom gets to know Jessica a bit, Jeff’s response to her is unrepentantly cruel. When Tom Bender drops him as a friend at the end, I thought it was a good thing.
And it was a good thing. For Tom. But only for a while.