Forged By Fire

By: Sharon Draper

Summary

Gerald is only a child when his life is turned upside down. He survives a fire caused by his mother, Monique who is abusive and a drug addict. Gerald finds hope when his Aunt Queen gets custody and makes his life better. Soon Monique returns to get custody and revealing Gerald has a younger sister,Angel and stepfather, Jordan. Aunt Queen dies soon after due to a heart attack caused by the stress of Monique wanting to take Gerald. Gerald is given back to his mother and is caught in his stepfathers abusive path. Gerald soon finds out Jordan is not just guilty of abuse but something far worse. Mr.Washington a friend/father figure for Gerald helps by getting Jordan arrested and sentenced to prison, and thought to be out of their life for good, they were terribly wrong. Everything goes well for a while Gerald joins a basketball team and meets new friends, one of his friend soon dies in car accident. Angel is busy with her new dance classes and is a very talented dancer. Jordan returns and is given visitation rights because the court thought he was rehabilitated. It all goes well enough until one day Angel is left home alone, Jordan arrives and has been heavily drinking. Jordan tries to abuse Angel again but is confronted by Gerald in final showdown. Downstairs the stove catches fire from the food Angel was cooking. Gerald is injured by Jordan, with only cuts and a broken leg. Jordan soon realized the house was on fire and ran out on them. Gerald carried Angel out and is knocked to the ground by Jordan's dead body, making the air breathable for Gerald and Angel to escape from the fire. Monique realized how foolish she was allowing Jordan in their family. They all reunited at the end in the back of an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
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Author Information

Sharon Draper is an american children's writer and a professional educator. She was born on August 21, 1948 in Cleveland Ohio. She is the 1997 teacher of the year and won the Margaret A. Edwards award in 2015. She is a six time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and is sited to have a lasting contribution young adult literature.

Characters

Gerald- Neglected by his mother at a young age, The main character who the story revolves around, and a good big brother to Angel.

Angel- Gerald's younger sister, Very good at dancing.

Monique- Mother of both Gerald and Angel let's Jordan do what he wants.

Aunt Queen- Gerald's great aunt takes care of him for 6 years.

Jordan- Abusive stepfather of Gerald and abuses Angel and Monique also.

Mr. Washington- Rob's dad, helps Gerald through tough times.

Rob- Gerald's best friend, head of basketball team, dies in car accident.

Andy- Rob and Gerald's friend, was driving the car that rob died in.

Tiger- Angels kitten she got for Christmas from Jordan.

Timeline

  1. Monique leaves Gerald home alone at three and he sets the house on fire causing Monique to be sent to prison for child endangerment.
  2. Gerald lives with Aunt Queen after she gets custody and Gerald lives a good life for about 6 years.
  3. Monique returns revealing Gerald has a sister Angel and wanting Gerald to come live with him.
  4. Aunt Queen has a heart attack and dies, Monique gets custody of Gerald.
  5. Gerald moves in with Monique, Angel, and Jordan. Gerald soon finds out Jordan is a abusive stepfather.
  6. Gerald finds out Jordan abuses Angel in worse way.
  7. Angel gets a kitten for Christmas and names it Tiger
  8. Gerald confesses to Mr. Washington and Jordan is sent to prison.
  9. Gerald, Angel, and Monique live a good life for about 7 years even though they still deal with Monique's problems.
  10. Gerald joins the basketball team and Angel begins dance lessons.
  11. Jordan gets out of prison and is rehabilatated in the eyes of the court and he said he gets visitation rights to Angel.
  12. Monique is hit by a car and causes Angel to worry.
  13. Jordan finally snaps and hits Monique and Gerald.
  14. Rob is killed in a car accident.
  15. Jordan tries to abuse Angel again and their apartment catches on fire.
  16. Jordan and Gerald fight in the burning apartment and Jordan breaks Gerald's leg then runs out the apartment.
  17. Gerald carries Angel out the apartment and saves her.
  18. The police officer informs Monique that Jordan died in the fire after falling down the steps.
  19. Monique finally realizes how foolish she was and cries, all of them reunite including Tiger in the back of the ambulance.