Title: After the fire: A true story of friendship and survival
Author: Robin Gaby Fisher
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Series or stand-alone: Biography
Setting: South Orange, NJ
Shawn Simons was a light sleeper, had been since he was thisbig.
This book is the story of Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, two students and residents of Boland Hall at Seton Hall University, who survived a fire set intentionally by two other boys who lived there. Three died. Fifty-six others were injured.
It's the story of both boys' determination to beat the odds, the care they received at the burn unit of St. Barnabas Hospital, Alvaro's journey to the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.
I think this is a great book to read if you've ever dealt with fire or fire-related injuries. I had an aunt and two cousins that perished in a house fire twenty-eight years ago but I still think of them often and wonder what life would be like if they'd survived as these boys did.
But I also think it an important book to read about friendship. And courage. And determination. And life.
It's a wonderful book, one of my favorites this year and I recommend it to everyone. (Keep the tissues handy.)