Mary's Reviews > Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio

Small Steps by Peg Kehret
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's review
Aug 26, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: middle-school-books, nonfiction
Read in August, 2009

In 1949, when Peg Schulze (Kehret) was 12 she was diagnosed with spinal, respiratory and bulbar polio. Fortunately, her virus was diagnosed quickly and she was sent to a specialized hospital where she received treatments that may have prevented her from permanent paralysis. In this book she tells of the months she spent in the hospital and in rehab. She describes the pain, fear, and frustration of those months, undergoing the Kenney treatment of hot packs and muscle stretching, learning to move, sit, stand, and walk again. She also tells of the humor and entertainment (primarily The Lone Ranger on the radio and reading) that helped her get through this trying time, and of the support of her family, and the friendships she developed with some of her roommates, who were more severely affected by Polio than she was. This is an informative and engaging depiction of a part of history that middle school students today will find interesting. Although neither they nor their parents will have experienced Polio, they will relate to a girl overcoming a disabling condition, and some will have had similar physical therapy experiences for different reasons.

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