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A novel by Jodi Picoult. Anna Fitzgerald has gone through countless surgeries, transfusions and shots by the age of thirteen. Is she sick? No. She's doing it for her older sister Kate, who has suffered from severe leukemia since the age of three. Anna was born to be a perfect match for Kate. Kate now needs a kidney and Anna decides she's had enough. So she sues her parents for medical emancipation. This book has a high Tear Jerker warning, and is the 7th most challenged book in schools and libraries for 2009. Made into a movie starring Abigail Breslin as Anna and Sofia Vassilieva as Kate in June 2009.


This book contains examples of:

  • Billy Needs an Organ
  • Book Ends: The film starts with Anna going to a lawyer then jumps back in time then moves forward again to end just after the court case
  • Composite Character: Aunt Kelly in the movie is a combination of Sara's sister and Julia in the book.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The movie takes out entire plotlines (such as Jesse's pyromania) and characters.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina:Oooh, yes.
  • Debate and Switch: due to the Shocking Swerve, the moral dilemma is averted
  • Death by Adaptation: Kate in the movie takes the place of Anna.
  • Designer Babies: Anna is probably a more realistic example of this trope.
  • Heel Face Turn: Campbell.
  • High School Sweethearts: Campbell and Julia
  • Ill Girl: Kate
  • Knight Templar Parent: Sara, who both creates and blights Anna's life in order to save Kate, while dismissing anyone who isn't of any use in the pursuit of that goal. Including her own son.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The movie trailers looked to be a dramedy of accepting a sibling having possibly terminal cancer. Then the shock comes with the book synopsis.
  • Parental Favoritism: There are countless examples. The mother, Sara, mainly cares about Kate and Kate only. She only cares about Anna because she can help Kate. Here are the more depressing examples.
    • While pregnant with Anna, she hadn't even thought of a name, she was more happy with the thought that the baby would help Kate.
    • Kate needs more lymphocytes from Anna. The appointment falls during her friend's birthday party and Anna is allowed to stay for half of the party. As Sara is taking Anna to the car, she asks why she had to leave. Sara is so angry because "[her] sister is more important than cake and ice cream", that she tells Anna to stop acting like a five year old. Anna was five at the time.
    • The oldest son Jesse is neglected after it is found out he is not a genetic match for Kate. Sara finds it hard to feel sorry when he, a 6 year old, gets his blood tested to see if he is a match for Kate. As a result he becomes a chain smoker and a Pyromaniac.
  • Pyromaniac: Jesse
  • Running Gag: Campbell never giving anyone a straight answer once they ask what his service dog is for, since he's not blind. But he is epileptic.
  • Scholarship Student: Julia at the Wheeler School where she and Campbell met.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Anna's battle for medical emancipation is proven pointless when she dies in a car accident and both her kidneys are harvested for her older sister.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Anna in the movie lives, while Kate dies instead.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The film has Kate arrange one of these because she wants to die and doesn't want Anna to suffer anymore.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: Campbell(Anna's lawyer) and Julia's relationship. This is removed in the movie.
  • Title Drop
  • The Unfavorite: Jesse, and to a lesser extent, Anna. See Parental Favoritism above.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Campbell's dog, Judge.
  • Walking Transplant: Anna
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