Finn has a plan for his summer vacation. He is going to stay home with his dog, read, and talk to as few people as possible. In fact, he has made it a goal to talk to fewer than a dozen people the whole summer. People stress Finn out and after a whole school year, he’s had it.
But Finn makes an exception for his new neighbor Johanna. She’s a college girl, she’s friendly, she’s beautiful. She’s also completely bald. They day they meet she explains, “I lost my hair during chemo.” And the conversation that follows is nothing like Finn would have expected. It’s honest, but it isn’t awkward. Johanna declares that she wants Finn’s signature in her notebook. He wants to know why.
Because everyday in my journal I write down the best thing that’s happened to me. Today it’s you. When Johanna said that, I felt light, warm in that spot just above my stomach where it usually fells clenched and tight.
This is a really terrific story about a friendship that a person didn’t expect. Johanna, who seems to need so much help and support, ends up providing those things to Finn…making both of their lives better and more fun as a result. Johanna shows Finn that limiting yourself to just 12 people in a whole summer is clearly not nearly enough. Author: Gary Paulsen
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