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[YRP Students' Essays] Suddenly I See

Some books make us feel warm and happy. Some books make you feel sad. On rare occasions, a person may find a book that will inspire and change the reader.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult is a sad novel, but it did not leave me feeling upset. Instead, the sadness inspired me and changed the way I was thinking. Anna is a healthy girl, but her sister Kate has leukemia. Anna has to be Katie's doner each time something goes wrong in Kate's body. If I were in Anna's shoes, I would not be able to bear the bone marrow transplant or blood donation.

When doctor proposed that Kate get a new kidney, Anna decides to hire a lawyer to let her family know that she is not a dummy for Kate's body and that she has the right to decide to either donate her book, kidney, bone marrow, and more necessary for Kate.

I would not be able to be such a self-activated person, and would definitely not be able to hire a lawyer. I learned that when nothing works to get your opinion placed in your parent's head, you have to take some action to make your words heard.

When Anna's mother Sarah gets completely crazy about Anna's proposal, Anna feels more neglect from her mother. Sarah has been obsessed over Kate for the past decade or so, and just made Anna donate something to Kate each time without asking Anna if is was alright.

I understand Anna's feeling because my father has been obsessed with his family for the past decade, not caring about his own daughter. I can relate to why Anna sued her parents in self-defense and to make her parents realize that she is a person as well. I can feel Anna's pain just as if it were my own.

Anna's father, Mark, loves both of his daughters equally and does not want to force Anna to do something that she does not want to do.

Mark is like my mother, and Sarah is like my father. Mark always thinks about Anna and what is best for her. Mark also loves Anna, and cares about her feelings. He also takes her out to places that she likes and has heart-to-heart talks with Anna.

Sarah, on the other hand, can only see the most important thing in life, which is Kate. Sarah is thinking about Kate the whole day and her mind does not have any space for others. She thinks about Kate, and keeps Kate as her number one priority. Due to her prospective and aim, Sarah cannot think about Anna and what is best for her, and because of this Anna feels neglected by her mother. Anna's brother Mike feels the same way about Sarah, so he smokes weed to ease his pain.

This book made me realize how much I love my mother, and what a jerk my father is. This realization has changed me in many ways such as saying to my mother, "I love you," calling her everyday, and spending more quality mother-and-daughter time than we used to. Another change that occurred to me after reading this book was that I was able to tell my father, "I love you, too," for the first time in seventeen years. It made me think in common sense again about how I really love my father, just hate the decisions that he has made these past few years.

In the end, Anna wins the court case and goes home happily. She decided to donate her kidney to her sister by her own will. She just wanted to have the right to decide, although she was going to donate anything to her sister, Kate.

When Anna is in the car with her lawyer, they get into a car crash, and Anna ends up brain dead. This ending really surprised me and made me have mixed emotions. Anna went through all that trouble for nothing, leaving just her body.

This scene changed my life dramatically. I chose to live my life to the fullest.

Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and B.F.G., student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.

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