Monday, November 27, 2017

Foster, Stewart. Bubble.

Foster, Stewart. Bubble. Simon & Schuster  2017  352p  $16.99     Uncorrected proof  ISBN 978-1-4814-8742-9   elem/ms  Realistic fiction  VG-BN     

In this heartwarming story, eleven-year-old Joe of London is suffering from Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). He has been confined to a sterile, air- and temperature-controlled hospital room -- his "bubble", for as long as he can remember. He is supported by his sister Beth, primary doctors, and his favorite nurse Greg, who are basically his only human contacts. He also Skypes with Henry in Philadelphia, who is also suffering from SCID. NASA is working with Henry and plans to take him outside in a special suit. Joe only wishes he had that opportunity, and then he meets his new nurse Amir, who promises to make Joe a suit and take him on an outdoor adventure.

This well-written novel reminds readers of the 1976 made-for-TV movie, "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble," starring John Travolta. The movie was based on the true life story of Tod Lubich, who suffered from a “deficient immune system,” and a “bubble” was developed to take the boy outside safely.
Bubble by Stewart Foster is a story that is equally sensitive, suspenseful and heartbreaking at times, and will leave readers on the edge of their seats. The characters are very well developed and believable. Additionally, the medical references and terminology are spot-on correct and well researched. This is a fine read that will engage, educate and entertain young readers at a deep emotional level. It is recommended for any elementary or middle-school library as a Book of Note, with the caveat that the plot and text remain unchanged from the advanced readers’ copy that was reviewed and the actual publication.

Summary: Suffering from SCID in London, eleven-year-old Joe has been in a sterile hospital room, known as his "bubble", for as long as he can remember.  He converses with his friend Henry, who has the same condition in Philadelphia, via Skype, and finds support from his sister, the doctors, and the nurses, one of whom is determined to take Joe outside for the first time ever.

Illness-Fiction                                             --Virginia McGarvey

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