Jessica Chai is attacked by The Skirt Crew - cheerleaders, in the school hallway. They want her hair for a good cause and the trophy. Offering an invitation to a seniors only party, they cut off her below-the-butt braid before she even answers. She is devastated...Her hair has become an integral part of her identity and she had no choice... Her mother takes her on a whirlwind spa day to style her new hair and purchase new glams. On the way to the party, a carload of rowdy teens passes Jess. Someone tosses a bottle which shatters her windshield causing her to lose control of her car. The car crashes off into a ravine and Jessica dies. The remainder of the book details the recipients of Jessica's organ donation, and their struggles to make sense of their miracles. Jessica is somehow able to be present, although she cannot manifest her presence. This is a heart-warming, cautionary tale, a bit free with literary license.
"The silence of books huddled around her like a blanket."
"Faith asked people to be better than themselves, bigger, more."
"Rejections of any kind hurt, even the unintentional ones."
Truman Award Preliminary Nominee 2016-17