Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Take a Deep Breath...



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

26 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great book for young readers. I remember how scary tuberculosis was back then. I do hope Breathing Room has a happy ending.

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    1. Anna Marie- It is a fabulous book for young readers. Tuberculosis was definitely scary and from what I read in the author notes- it still is. I can't tell you about the end- but it is a page turner. ~L

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  2. Loving the idea of photographs at the beginning of each chapter.

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    1. Petty- The photographs at the start of each chapter add a lot to the book. I liked the glimpse back into history. ~L

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  3. This sounds heart-breaking, but like a wonderful, powerful read. You lovely ladies always bring the most amazing books to our attention. Thank you so much for this beautiful review! <3

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    1. Cheles- It is a wonderful story and a lovely read. I am glad you enjoyed the review! <3 ~L

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  4. Thats a nice review, I love your blog. I'm following you now. If your interested check mine out at http://thebookknoll.blogspot.com/

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    1. Lori- Glad you enjoyed the review. I am following you back! ~F

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  5. This book sounds like a very serious and informative one. I have not read it...it always amazes me at how many middle grade books you know of...I am in awe!

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    1. Hi Patty- It is serious and informative. The book is also touching and fascinating. Happy reading! ~L

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  6. thank you for always sharing these book reviews. I learn a lot here and pass that on to my middle school kids who look at me and ask, "how do you know?"

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    1. Annmarie- You are welcome! Glad we can help you to learn about more MG books. Awesome that you can share them with your kids and impress them with your knowledge. :) ~L

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  7. Holy moly, what an ambitious book! I think historicals are great, but one dealing with medical facts must have been very hard to research. I'm so impressed by the author. I wish I could write something so important. :-)

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    1. Lexa- I can only imagine how much work went into this book. I enjoy HF books, too and this one is so worth the read. Happy reading and writing! ~L

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  8. Sounds really good ... and inevitably sad (a girl left at a sanitarium). I love heroines with quiet strength. They are the best kind. :) Thanks for sharing this book!

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    1. Claudine- Breathing Room is really good and sad. Evvy is a fabulous heroine and you will enjoy connecting with her. :) ~L

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  9. I've never heard of this one previously but it sounds great. Definitely gonna have to check it out. I'd imagine it would be quite scary to be dropped off there at ANY age let alone as a child that's ill!

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    1. GMR- It was new to me, too! It is a great read. I agree with you that being dropped off at a sanitarium at any age would be scary and lonely. Very cold, too! ~L

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  10. I've been seeing a lot of books set in sanitariums lately. Interesting.

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    1. Kelly- How interesting that more books are being set in sanitariums. Fascinating! ~L

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  11. This sounds both scary and sweet. The perfect mix for a great read! :0)

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    1. M. Christine- Definitely! Happy reading! ~L

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  12. This sounds really great, though the theme is nothing pleasant. But the heroine sounds very likeable. :)

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    1. Petra- The heroine is very likeable and it is amazing to think about how many people spent time in sanitariums trying to get better and beat tuberculosis. ~L

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  13. Oh, such a sweet book. I'd love to read this one. I grew up in the 50's and had school friends who caught TB. Sad, mean illness. Sounds like an excellent read.

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    1. Donna- If you knew people who had TB then I bet this book would touch you in ways I can't imagine. It is well-written and touching. Happy reading! ~L

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