The entire novel takes place within only three weeks, so the ten most important events to occur are very close together. To me, these events include the following:
1. Mrs. Tracy tells Tom and his seventh-grade classmates that they will be getting a new classmate who doesn't look like anyone they've ever seen before.
2. Jessica Feeney arrives at school. She is a burn victim, and her fellow classmates are disgusted by her appearance.
3. Tom's friend Jeff refuses to hold Jessica's hand and asks if he can sit anywhere other than next to her.
4. Tom's mother suggests that he get to know Jessica because she might need a friend.
5. Tom's friend Jeff and some other kids make up rumors about Jessica's burns and how the fire started.
6. Tom's classmates find a photo that Jessica keeps with her, and she tells Tom that it's a photograph of her sister Anne, who passed away.
7. Tom goes to Jessica's house to deliver homework to her. In doing so, he also cancels plans with Jeff. He is invited inside and learns that her burns happened in a car accident in which a truck collided with the car she was in.
8. The reader eventually deduces that Jessica doesn't have a sister named Anne and that the photo is of Jessica before she was in the car fire.
9. Tom realizes the importance of friendship and identity after knowing Jessica. While at the beginning of the novel he prioritizes cars and comic books, he now sees that there are bigger, more important things to focus on. She encourages him and helps him speak up.
10. Jessica needs different treatments for her burns, and so she and her family move away and she leaves Tom's school just as they had begun their friendship.