Eveleyn’s father drops her off at Loon Lake in May of 1940. Although she is thirteen, she is scared to be left at a sanitarium by herself. What is worse is that she is only allowed to bring a few items with her, and her stuffed animal gets taken away from her because it could contain germs. Evvy has tuberculosis and in order for her to get better she must be separated from her family and follow the rules. Because she has tuberculosis breathing isn’t easy. Being alone is hard too, and Evvy has trouble making friends. There are a few other girls in her room, but she is the youngest. Not to mention that the staff isn’t very kind to the patients. Imagine being exposed to the cold Minnesota air with only a water bottle to warm you up. As a treatment for tuberculosis, Evvy is exposed to lots of cold air to help her clear her lungs. Will Loon Lake help her to get better? Will she get see her brother, Abe, again? Will Evvy ever make some friends to make her days brighter? You will enjoy finding out what is in store for Evvy in this interesting historical fiction book for middle grade readers.
Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles is a wonderful book about a fantastic girl. Evvy has a quiet strength and she is brave even though she is fighting to stay alive. The characters in the story are all developed in such a way that I feel as if I know them. This is a super book for kids in fourth through eighth grade. Older readers will enjoy it as well! Be prepared to have history unfold for you as you read about Evvy’s experience. Adding to the scene are the old photographs that are included at the start of each chapter. I learned a lot about tuberculosis and the way it was, and still is, treated. At the end of the book, the author includes notes about her research. I liked reading the notes because it helped me to see what was real and what was made up. This story touched my heart. I look forward to reading more books by Marsha Hayles! Take a journey back in time with Evvy, and you will come back a little different.
Has anyone else read Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles? Or read another book by Marsha Hayles?
Happy Reading! ~L