It is still dark out. As his eyes blink open, Joe hurriedly checks the monitor blinking on the wall. Why is he awake? Has something gone wrong? Has his white blood cell count dropped? As he leans closer to the monitors to find the problem, he hears the click of the lights in the transition room and the spray of disinfectant. The door opens and a doctor walks in...
This is just a glimpse of what life is like for Joe, the main character in Bubble by Stewart Foster. Joe was brought back to the hospital at two months old when he was diagnosed with a rare immune system disease. Since then he has been trapped in a hospital “bubble” - a lonely world of doctors, nurses, beeping monitors, blood tests, transfusions, and worst of all, wondering how much longer he will live.
One thing that keeps Joe going is his online connection with Henry, a boy across the ocean with the same disease. Together they share the dream of leaving the hospital and experiencing the world. When a new nurse, Amir, gets assigned to Joe, his whole world changes. At first, Amir is quiet, and Joe thinks that he is strange; but little does Joe know that Amir will change his life forever.
Bubble, by Stewart Foster, is a heartwarming novel about the power of hope. Despite being trapped in a hospital room for almost his entire life, eleven-year-old Joe wants to be a superhero...and in his own way, he is. His story is inspiring because he overcomes so many challenges: a deadly disease, the tragic death of his parents, and having to talk to everyone he cares about over Skype. Bubble takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions, from sad to happy and back again.
I found it to be a very exciting page-turner because I was always in suspense about whether Joe would survive his latest medical crisis. This book, although fictional, opened my mind to what some kids with severe medical conditions go through,and made me appreciate the freedom I have. I highly recommend Bubble for kids ages 10-15.