Posted in Children's Lit

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret

226425Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
Peg Kehret
1996 Albert Whitman and Company
ISBN – 9780807574577
Genre – Biography
Age – Elementary School, Middle School
4 Stars


Peg was the only girl in her small Midwestern town to get polio. She was an ordinary 12 year old girl, who was excited about her school’s homecoming parade and the coming summer. Then one day her muscles began to twitch and pulse, and she came down with a fever. A doctor quickly diagnosed her with polio and she moved to a specialized hospital. However, her condition continued to worsen, as her breathing became shallow and labored. She found out that she had a very acute form of polio. She was then transferred to a hospital that could accommodate her possible needs for a respirator, or an iron lung as it was called in the 1940’s. This book follows her struggles and victories while living with this debilitating disease.

Peg Kehret is an experienced children’s writer. Aside from this book, she has published over 30 books for children over many years. She is able to really capture the way she felt emotionally, and physically in way that elementary aged kids can understand. This is particularly important when explaining a disease that has not been prevalent in many years. Pictures are included of herself, her friends, family, and even the “iron lung,” which will help kids visualize certain aspects of her story. This is a quick yet intense read that will tug at many emotions inside of the reader. Laughter and tears in the same page is not unusual.



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