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Author: Lawrence, Iain
When her eight-year-old neighbor gets polio in 1955, 11-year-old Laurie discovers that her imagination has power as she tells stories during her visits with him and other patients in iron lung machines.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 134024
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 58979
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Kirkus Reviews (+) (10/15/09)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (01/10)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2009 Despite the title, this compelling story-within-a-story is not about giant slayers, but about children with giant spirits. Eleven-year-old Laurie Valentine has a lonely life but an active imagination. When her one and only friend, Dickie, is diagnosed with polio in 1955, she visits the hospital to tell Dickie and other stricken children a magical story about Jimmy, a destined giant slayer. Besides Dickie, there is Chip, an orphaned farm boy, and Carolyn, a 14-year-old girl who has been inside an iron lung for eight years. The three are transformed by the story and begin to see themselves in Laurie’s characters. When the unthinkable happens, Chip, Dickie, and Carolyn narrate the tale without Laurie, revealing truths about themselves. While the author flawlessly integrates Laurie’s fantasy narration with the 1955 story, the cover art of a giant about to squash little Jimmy might throw readers off a bit. Still, this effectively shows how children face life-changing challenges with incredible determination. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2010 As a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, Laurie’s father is fixated on the perils of childhood polio, and he tries to keep his daughter sheltered from anything and anyone he deems a risk. Motherless, lonely, and acutely imaginative, Laurie makes friends with Dickie, a new boy in the neighborhood, and on a surreptitious outing to a contaminated “creek,” he contracts the disease and is confined to an iron lung in a local hospital. Against her father’s wishes, Laurie visits Dickie and his wardmates, regaling them with an ongoing story of Jimmy, a boy cursed to ever remain small, and a witch’s prophecy that he will one day slay the dreaded giant, Collosso; Dickie and the other hospitalized kids identify so closely with Laurie’s characters that they come to conflate their own fates with their fictional counterparts. Soon Laurie is also stricken with polio, and the children pick up the tale and manipulate it to bring each other some kind of happily-ever-after. Lawrence inserts lessons in 1950s polio treatment with a heavy hand, and Laurie’s yarn, already heavily laden with obvious symbolism, is subject to didactic interpretations as well. Nonetheless, Lawrence’s topic is compelling, and even readers who weary of the ham-fisted style may be fully intrigued by the substance. EB - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.