Trying to fit in in middle school can be a difficult feat, but add in the diagnosis of a rare eye cancer and it’s a whole new experience. In the semi-biographical book, “Wink”, written by Rob Harrell, you are able to follow seventh grader Ross Maloy as he navigates this difficult journey.

Not only does Ross have to endure uncomfortable cancer treatment, he also has to try to not stand out as the “cancer kid” at school. And to make things worse Ross is the brunt of bullying because of his evolving appearance (eye goo, hair loss and having to wear a cowboy hat as advised by his doctor). Ross felt like his life was falling apart and just didn’t know how he was going to prevail. He had to learn to lean on family to help him cope. True friendships blossomed, his love for cartooning grew, and Ross also discovered a new passion….music, which all helped him while he navigated this difficult time.

This is a great read for upper elementary children to learn that they are not alone in wanting to fit in, and to just be considered normal. There are many ups and downs in Ross’s life that the reader will be able to relate to and to learn from. This inspirational story will remind the reader about the important things in life and to always remember the importance of kindness. -Reviewed by Lynn