Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chasing Orion

Title:               Chasing Orion
Category:       Juvenile
Grade:            5-9
Author:          Kathryn Laskey
Illustrator:      N/A
Publisher:       Candlewick
Date:               2010
Pages:             362

Though Georgie reads polio statistics in the paper daily and sees victims on TV, she never expected to find a polio victim in the backyard next door.  Teenaged Phyllis is in an iron lung and seems hungry for company – both Georgie’s and her good-looking elder brother Emmett’s.  As Georgie gets to know Phyllis better, she realizes that much of her happy persona is, in fact, a lie, and all Phyllis really wishes for is death – freedom from her iron prison.  And Emmett, thinking he is helping her recuperate, may be just the person to help Phyllis accomplish her goal. 

Though length and content may not be appropriate for a younger reader, this story was well told and quite fascinating with a unique subject matter.  Lasky not only entertains her readers but raises several questions worthy of discussion that surrounded the polio epidemic of the fifties.


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