Dawn's Reviews > The Giant-Slayer

The Giant-Slayer by Iain Lawrence
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's review
Mar 19, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: gscba-2011, magical-realism, upper-elementary-lit
Read from March 10 to 17, 2011

Lori Valentine's world is permeated by Polio. Her mother died from it, her best friend has it, her father fundraises for a cure for it and her nanny is constantly fearful that she is going to contract it. Lori wants to visit her friend Dickie in the polio ward, but her father forbids it out of fear that she may get sick. So, Lori does what any kid does when something is forbidden, she goes anyway. Dickie is in an iron lung in the respirator room of the Polio ward. There are two other children in there with him, Chip and Caroline. Lori feels uncomfortable at first, but eventually comes to accept her friend's fate. She is a good story teller and proceeds to spin a story to the three called The Giant Slayer. As she tells the story, the patients start to see themselves in it and the trio's dynamic begins to change.

The ending was a little predictable, but satisfying. I would be interested in reading a sequel. The book prompted me to do a little research to see what an iron lung looked like, read about the therapys used and the road to finding a cure. I think this book would appeal to fourth graders and up of both genders.

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