By Kathryn Lasky
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763639822, 368pp.)
Publication Date: May 11, 2010
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When a beautiful teen with polio enters their lives, a girl and her older brother find themselves drawn into a web of lies in this compelling novel by a best-selling author.
Eleven-year-old Georgie loves science-fiction movies, but she won’t be going to the theater anytime soon. It’s a hot Indiana summer in 1952, and public places from pools to camps are closing to slow the spread of polio. Despite all the headlines, Georgie never thought she’d come as close to the fearful disease as she does when she spies a silver glint in her neighbor’s yard. There she discovers a monstrous, hissing machine, and inside is Phyllis, a girl encased in an iron lung. "I have eighty-seven cubic centimeters of air, but you have the world," Phyllis tells her. Phyllis’s ability to breathe may be limited, but her strength to manipulate is boundless. As Georgie struggles to comprehend this once-gorgeous teenager’s life in a "coffin with legs," Phyllis slowly weaves a web of lies that snare all those around her, including Georgie’s quickly smitten brother. Can Georgie untangle the truth before Phyllis’s deception achieves its inevitable end?
Kathryn Lasky is the author of many acclaimed fiction and nonfiction books, including ONE BEETLE TOO MANY: THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF CHARLES DARWIN and SUGARING TIME, a Newbery Honor Book. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.