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  • Saving Jessica
  • Written by Lurlene McDaniel
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307776426
  • Our Price: $5.99
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Saving Jessica

Written by Lurlene McDanielAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lurlene McDaniel

eBook

List Price: $5.99

eBook

On Sale: October 27, 2010
Pages: 208 | ISBN: 978-0-307-77642-6
Published by : Laurel Leaf RH Childrens Books
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Jessica McMillian and Jeremy Travino are a perfect couple.   But now Jessica has been diagnosed as having kidney failure.   She is on dialysis three days a week and is so depressed that she's not sure she wants to live.  Her one hope for a normal life is a kidney transplant, but she's an only child and her parents aren't suitable donors.   Jeremy is determined to donate one of her kidneys to her, but his parents are terrified of losing their only child.  Will Jeremy find the strength to go against his parent's wishes and do what he must to save Jessica?


From the Paperback edition.

Excerpt

"Happy Birthday, Jessie!"

Jessica blew out the eighteen candles on the cake her mother set in front of her, and smiled at the three people who meant the most to her in all the world--her parents and Jeremy.  How different this birthday was from the one the year before.  Before her kidneys had failed.  "The cake's beautiful, Mom."

She knew her mother had slaved for hours to create a cake that could be incorporated into her diet.  She couldn't have much of it, and truthfully she wasn't even hungry, but she was determined to let her mother know how much she appreciated her effort.  Especially now that Dr. Witherspoon had told them that neither parent could donate a kidney to her.  They'd felt so awful about it.

"You should start a bakery, Ruth," her father said.  "The recipes you come up with are sensational."

Her mother sent him a smile.  "When this is over, I'll never think about cooking again.  We'll eat every meal out after Jessie's better."

Jessica knew her mother had high hopes that the doctors would find her a donor kidney.  Jessica was less optimistic.

"Open your presents," Jeremy said eagerly.

He's been acting peculiar all day.  Sort of antsy, as if he were a time bomb waiting to explode.

Jessica longed to really join the party.  She wanted so much to please all of them.  But she felt awful.  Her dialysis the day before hadn't gone well.  Her fistula had begun to clot, and now she was on bloodthinning medication and antibiotics.  Her arm was sore.  And already edema, swelling, had started in her ankles and feet.  "Who's first?" she asked.

"Mine last," Jeremy said, snatching away the small box.

"Try ours." Her father handed her a narrow box wrapped with pink paper and a purple ribbon.

She tore open the paper and eased the top off the box.  A glittering gold charm bracelet lay on a bed of white cotton.  She caught her breath.  "It's gorgeous!"

"Do you like it?" her mother asked.  "We've already chosen a charm and thought we could add one for every special occasion."

A solid gold "18" dangled from the delicate chain of double links.

"It's perfect.  You know I've always wanted one.  Thanks so much."

"When you graduate, you'll get another charm."

The ceremony was scheduled for Friday night in the civic auditorium.  Jessica had her robe and mortarboard and at the ceremony would receive her diploma and tassel.  If she felt up to walking across the stage.

"Don!" her mother admonished.  "You weren't supposed to tell her.  It was a surprise."

Her father blinked sheepishly.  "Oops."

Jessica giggled.  "I'll act surprised when I open it.  Promise." She turned to Jeremy.  "Well, are you going to let me have my present?"

He held out the box.

"It sure is small," she said teasingly.

"Big surprises come in small packages."

She unwrapped it and discovered another charm.  This one was a bright gold kidney bean.  "This is unusual."

He grinned.  "It's not what it is, it's what it represents that's important."

"A bean? You think I'm full of beans?" She was having fun teasing him, watching his cheeks flush red.

"No.  It's a kidney." He took a deep breath.  "My kidney.  I've already talked to Dr.  Witherspoon about donating one of my kidneys to you."

For a stunned moment, no one spoke.  Then everyone spoke at once.

Her mother started crying.  "It's a miracle.  An answer to prayer."

Her father gasped and began to bombard Jeremy with questions.  "What? How? Are you sure?"

Jeremy held up his hands.  "Wait a minute.  I can't answer all of you at once." He grasped Jessica's hands and gazed lovingly into her eyes.  "You first."

She was overcome with emotion; large tears pooled in her eyes.  "You're the most wonderful person in the world, Jeremy." She swallowed against the lump of gratitude in her throat.  "I appreciate your offer more than words can say. But I can't take your gift, Jeremy. I simply can't."


From the Paperback edition.
Lurlene McDaniel

About Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel - Saving Jessica

Photo © Meghan Green and Jon Lancaster

“I write the kind of books I write because I want to help kids understand that nobody gets to pick what life dishes out to them. What you do get to choose is how you respond to what life gives you. No matter what happens, life is a gift. And always worth living.”—Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel is a recipient of the RITA Award and several of her works have received the IRA–CBC Children’s Choice Award.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Everyone loves a good cry, and no one delivers heartwrenching stories better than Lurlene McDaniel.

But there’s more to her books than that. McDaniel has written over 40 novels about kids who face life-threatening illnesses, who sometimes do not survive. These are powerful, inspirational stories about courage, love, and strength in the face of overwhelming trauma. McDaniel’s books touch the hearts and spirits of the teenagers and adults who read them. Her following is a devoted group of appreciative fans. McDaniel says: “These are books that challenge you and make you think.”

Some readers—and their parents—have wondered why McDaniel chooses to write about sad situations. “I tell them that sometimes tragedy hits people—kids, too. They want answers. They want to know ‘why.’ By using novels, I show ordinary kids confronting and overcoming great odds.” McDaniel’s books are ultimately optimistic and life-affirming. 

McDaniel began writing about young adults when her son Sean was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3. His illness changed the lives of everyone in her family forever. “I saw what life was like for someone who was chronically ill, and I experienced how it affected the dynamics of the family,” says McDaniel. She says she found that writing about the trauma and its effects was therapeutic.

To make certain that her books are medically accurate, McDaniel conducts extensive research. She interviews health care professionals and works with appropriate medical groups and hospice organizations, as well as the Tennessee Organ Donor Services. “I study medicine and traditional grief therapy techniques to give the novels a sense of serious medical reality,” she says. “I also study the Bible to instill the human element—the values and ethics often overlooked by the coldness of technology.”

Growing up, McDaniel lived in different parts of the country because her father was in the Navy. Eventually her family settled in Florida. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she earned a B.A. in English. She now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In addition to her popular YA novels, McDaniel has written radio and television scripts, promotional and advertising copy, and a magazine column. She is a frequent speaker at schools, writers’ conferences, and conventions.

McDaniel’s books have been named to several bestseller lists, including Publishers Weekly. Three of her novels were
selected by children as IRA–CBC Children’s Choices: Somewhere Between Life and Death, Too Young to Die, and Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever. Six Months to Live has been placed in a literary time capsule at the Library of Congress, to be opened in the year 2089.

The One Last Wish books focus on the interconnected stories of the residents and counselors of Jenny House—a group home for critically and terminally ill young girls. Through the kindness of a secret benefactor, each girl receives a cashier’s check for $100,000, to be used to make her last wish come true. Every One Last Wish novel is a compassionate story of triumph and inspiration that makes McDaniel’s dedicated fans come back for more.

McDaniel’s works include To Live Again, one of the Dawn Rochelle books; Angel of Mercy, the companion to Angel of Hope; and How Do I Love Thee, three stories about young couples who are inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful sonnet. In her novel, Telling Christina Goodbye, McDaniel shows that everything can change in the blink of an eye.


PRAISE

ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME
“An interesting blend of romance, mystery, and problem novel. The characters are captivating and sensitively drawn and the plot is fast paced.”—School Library Journal

DON’T DIE, MY LOVE
“Touching scenes abound in this crisis novel. . . . Fans of tear-jerker teen romances will enjoy this offering.”—Booklist

I’LL BE SEEING YOU
“A satisfying story for those who like to take their romance with tears and gutsy characters who know what it means to live beyond the pale of ‘normal.’ ”—School Library Journal

SAVING JESSICA
“Readers of McDaniel will enjoy; it’s good to read positive stories about teens.”—VOYA

SHE DIED TOO YOUNG
“McDaniel has a way of getting you to look at the complicated emotions experienced by YAs with major medical problems. . . . Another winner in her One Last Wish series.”—KLIATT

STARRY, STARRY NIGHT
“[The stories] are absorbing, the characters are well developed, and the author does not resolve the girls’ dilemmas with pat solutions. . . . This has solid YA appeal.”—School Library Journal

TOO YOUNG TO DIE and GOODBYE DOESN’T MEAN FOREVER
“These companion novels . . . cast the events of high school into a meaningful perspective and allow for convincing character development. McDaniel’s writing is light and well suited to this refreshing and involving story.”—Publishers Weekly

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