Alan's Reviews > The Giant-Slayer

The Giant-Slayer by Iain Lawrence
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Dec 13, 10

bookshelves: middle-school, fantasy, historical-fiction

** spoiler alert ** ATOS Book Level: 4.8
Interest Level: Middle Grades (MG 4-8)
AR Points: 11.0
Word Count: 72740


A story told within a story, with just a hint of magic towards the end. The first is the story of Laurie, growing up in the 1950's during the height of the Polio epidemic. While it's Laurie's story, it is also the story of how Polio affected the kids who contracted it, about their lives in the hospital ward and how many of them felt deserted by their families in the wards either through fear of contracting the disease or slowly over time as the weeks, months and years went by. The second is the story of Jimmy the giant killer, a story Laurie tells (re-tells?) to the kids in the Polio ward while visiting her friend Dickie who has contracted the disease. Laurie tells the story piecemeal during her visits with Dickie. Over time the children come to identify themselves with the various characters within the story. When Laurie herself contracts the disease, after receiving one of the first doses of the vaccine, a batch that should have been dead but was still alive, the children believe they need to pick up the story, that if they didn't finish the story Laurie would die. What happens at the end, and how the hint of magic comes to play is up to you to find out. Read the book, it's one you'll like.
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