Book review: Chasing Orion, by Kathryn Lasky

Lasky, Kathryn. Chasing Orion. Candlewick Press, 2010. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-3982-2. 362 p. Gr. 5-10. P7Q8

It’s hard being an eleven year old girl especially when you move during summer.  Not only does Georgia have to make all new friends, she also has to try to make sure her brother Emmett doesn’t mess up his first relationship with their neighbor.  And now Georgia is concerned about the outbreak of polio.  It changes her life to not be allowed to swim in public pools or go to places where people gather.

Review by student: C. L.

Editor’s note:  In 1952 Indiana, eleven-year-old Georgie and her older brother Emmett cannot go to the theater to watch movies, cannot go to the swimming pool, because public places are closing due to the polio epidemic ravaging the middle of the country.  In addition, the family moved across town at the end of the school year.  With no friends, Georgie is quite bored, though she is fascinated by the disease and reads about it in the newspaper.  Then, Georgie discovers her next door neighbor Phyllis, a beautiful high school girl who survived polio, but will be confined in an iron lung for the rest of her life.  Descriptions of the devastating effects of polio bring depth to the book, but the moral questions raised by Phyllis will require maturity from its readers.



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