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Then she meets Donald, badly disfigured in a fire years before. The other kids in the hospital call him Monster Man, and tell Maria to stay away from him. But Maria sees the human being hidden behind Donald's scars and his bitterness, and finds in him what she...
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Then she meets Donald, badly disfigured in a fire years before. The other kids in the hospital call him Monster Man, and tell Maria to stay away from him. But Maria sees the human being hidden behind Donald's scars and his bitterness, and finds in him what she needs most of all -- answers to her questions, and a friend.
When eleven-year-old Maria must go to the hospital for open-heart surgery, she finds strength in her friendship with a badly scarred burn victim.
Maria wasn't sure what to expect as she followed the two girls down another hallway. Bonnie's wheelchair squeaked a little, and Linda shushed her as if there were something she could do about it. They finally came to a door. It was closed.
"Damn," Linda said in a whisper. "I was hoping you'd get to see him."
"Why do you call him that?"
Linda smirked, looking at Maria as if she'd just asked the world's dumbest question. "Cause he looks like a monster, what d'ya think?"
"Chile," Bonnie said, "you jes' keep away from Monster Man. He is mean, and he is ugh-lee!"
Linda motioned for them to move across the hall, away from his door. Then, in a conspiratorial hush, she said, "I heard that he is so mean his parents burned down their house to try to kill him."
"What?" Maria asked.
"That's right. It was a long time ago," Bonnie confirmed. "That's how he got so ugly. From the fire. He's been in and out of the hospital ever since trying to get fixed. But, honey, when you're broken like that, you ain't never gonna be fixed."
Linda shuddered. "Just the sight of him makes me sick. He's all scars and...yuck, I can't even describe it without wanting to puke."
"He's a freak, that's what he is," said Bonnie.
Maria looked for a moment at the closed door. "It isn't his fault," she said softly.
"What'd you say?"
"Nothing. Just that it isn't his fault."
"Well, it's his fault for being a creep, though," Linda snorted.
"Is he a creep?" Maria asked. "Do you ever talk to him? What's he like?"
"Listen," Linda answered, "Monster Man doesn't talk to anybody. And nobody talks to him, get it? They even keep him in a room by himself And that's justfine with me."
"He's gonna have an operation day after tomorrow," Bonnie added. "I heard the nurses talkin'. An operation on his skin! That is so disgustin'."
"I'm having my operation day after tomorrow, too ' Maria said.
"We've had ours already," Bonnie said. "We'll be goin' home soon."
"What was it like?"
"To have an operation. See, I never had one before. Does it hurt?"
"Not while they're doing it," Linda said. "Afterwards, it does."
"You're not scared, are you?" Bonnie asked. Maria didn't answer right away.
"'Cause there's nothin" to be scared of. Right, Linda?"
"Right. Like I said, you might puke afterwards, but that's not such a big deal."
"But what if -- "
Linda cut her off with a look. "Don't worry so much" she admonished her. "Didn't anybody tell you there's nothing to worry about?"
"So, believe 'em. Come on, let's go to the playroom. You want to come?"
"I guess so," Maria replied with little enthusiasm. She wished she could talk more about her operation, but it seemed like she was the only one who wanted to.
The three girls looked again at Monster Man's door in the hope that it would magically open before their eyes. When it didn't, they moved off in the direction of the playroom.
In silence they walked. Maria was bothered by their conversation. She didn't like thinking about the freak they called Monster Man any more than she did her operation. How could God let such a terrible thing happen anyway? Here was this kid who was probably just as normal as other kids, and then he was burned in a fire and from that day on he was different from everyone else
What if God let something terrible like that happen to her? What if he made her different from everybody else? By the time she reached the playroom she was angry. And afraid.
Posted April 11, 2007
Posted November 1, 2001
I would recomend this book for poeple to read. I tought is was a very emmotional book and has alot of meaning to it. It touched me so muct because I have gone througe major surgies too and can relate to this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 14, 2001