This has been a dream of mine for many many years, to write a novel where the main character has Crouzon syndrome. Isabella does!
The story is fictitious but I draw on my own and Melissa's experiences growing up with Crouzons. In the beginning of the story Isabella who is 13 years old, reveals to her Year Nine English class that she has Crouzon syndrome. She had kept her Crouzon syndrome a secret since leaving primary school. Issy had a facial surgery in Year Four which had made her face look 'normal' but her face was growing and changing back to how it was. Her eyes were becoming bulgy again and she was developing an underbite. It was time, Issy bravely decided.
(I have used Melissa's actual speech, with a bit of writer's licence, that she gave to her Year Eight English class this year).
The book follows Issy's first six months of Year Nine. It follows her through her search for her self-identity living with a facial difference. From rejection in HPE dance lessons, to jealousy, friendship ups and downs, to winning an Art Award, being a talented skateboarder and much more.
I am Isabella is a much needed read for any young teen growing up with a facial difference, and also for friends and family.
I am looking for a publisher so if you have contacts please let them know!
Issy Burgess is thirteen, in Year Nine at Pinnaroo High. The school year begins with Issy telling her English class her secret – that she has Crouzon syndrome. Something she has never done.
The year continues with a series of trials and triumphs. Anxiety attacks, hair disasters, bestie fights, braces and bouts of jealousy. Art awards, the school dance, mastering skateboard tricks and new friendships. This six month journey will see Issy struggle and grow as she begins the journey of finding her self-identity.
© 2012 by Jenny Woolsey