Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763639822, 362pp.
Publication Date: May 11, 2010
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?
The author and her husband, Christopher Knight, live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and summer on an island off the coast of Maine. There she enjoys watching peregrine falcons soar on the thermal drafts above the cove where she swims.