Monday, June 11, 2018

Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles

Breathing Room is a middle grade book about a girl's experience in a Sanatorium to cure her tuberculosis. Evvy Hoffmeister is just one of the hundreds of thousands of children sent to Loon Lake Sanatorium in the 1940s. At just 13 years old, the process is very scary, especially when death is just around the corner. But with the help of her new friends, Sarah, Pearl, and Dena, she finds the strength to fight the illness.

I learned a lot about tuberculosis and I was shocked at some of what the girls went through. Old forms of medicine consisted of risky surgical procedures. We should be truly grateful for the extent and power of medicine today. I also really liked the posters, flyers, propaganda, and other historical illustrations that added to the story and showed the culture of America in that time period.

I loved the backdrop of WW2 and the elements of Judaism and fear, a nice opening into the past. I have not read many books like this one and I was captivated with the girls' journeys of getting better or getting worse. The book was sad and alarming at the deaths and extent of the illness.

However, in the midst of all the death around them, the girls at least had each other, and the friendships that were formed were so sweet. The book contains a great theme to always keep fighting for your life and always look ahead into the future and be positive. This is a unique read for girls of all ages!

I am glad I bought this book and I would gladly read it again! I highly recommend this book!

Title: Breathing Room
Author: Marsha Hayles
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Pages: 256
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

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