Just Don't Fall is the story of cancer survivor Josh Survivor. The story begins the year he discovered he had cancer at just nine-years-old and then follows him through college. After finishing The Fault In Our Stars I couldn't believe I was already reading another story about a boy with cancer but this one also proved to be both hilarious and inspiring.
As I read I wanted to keep sharing sections aloud with Katie. It was so good she eventually told me to quit because I just wanted to read the entire thing out loud. And I still want to share it with you because I think it's so great...
"One of the best things about being homeschooled is that you get to go to homeschool potlucks. Each month at the potluck after we finish eating, while all our parents are in the picnic shelter discussing Creation-Based Science Textbooks, we kids have races on the playground. I always win because I am the fastest. We also play a game called Boys Against Girls. These are the rules: The boys chase the girls around the playground. If you catch a girl--I always try to catch Keisha because she is the prettiest girl in our homeschool group--you get to give her a kiss. I kiss Keisha even though I know that if you kiss a girl before you are married to her you might get AIDS."
"...I know that you get the same benefits from adopted children as you get from regular children, like having a small person who can sweep and dust and vacuum for you, or play soccer with you on the weekend when you would probably get bored otherwise, or talk to you for free during dinner at Country Cookin, as long as they are ten and under."
"This chain of hope is much like the prayer chain I grew up with, except that it's based not only on faith in God, but also on faith in one another, faith in ourselves, faith in our dreams. It's a chain composed of all the people in this stadium, who are cheering for us now as they've cheered for us for so many years. For each athlete, all the links of the chain are here, in this stadium, whether in person or in spirit. There is a mother who cared, a father who protected, a brother who loved, a Dr. Dunsmore who healed, a Lydia who disappointed, a Ralph who challenged, a Paul who infuriated, and a Johnny who inspired."
After fighting to read a different book for days that I just couldn't get into, I picked up The List yesterday afternoon and finished it today by the pool. I hang out with High School girls at camp all summer long and in Young Life the rest of the year so it makes sense that I would instantly be sucked into a book about High School girls.
The List is composed of the prettiest and ugliest girl in each grade of Mount Washington High, no one knows who makes it but it shows up every year plastered all over the school the week before homecoming. In this novel, the stories of the eight girls chosen for the list are chronicled for one week.
It's a challenge to keep all of the characters straight but their stories are moving and intriguing. Yes, they fit some of the traditional stereotypes we sort High School girls into but there is always more to the story. I wish there was a sequel because I just want to keep reading about all eight of their lives. This is a book I want to put in my classroom library and share with my camp and YL girls because it's so applicable to each of them.