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Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio Paperback – Illustrated, January 1, 1996
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From School Library Journal
1996 Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction
1997 ALA Notable Books for Children
1997 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers
1997 Pen Center USA West Literary Award
1998 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award (Vermont)
1998-1999 Mark Twain Award (Missouri)
1998 Joan Fassler Memorial Book Award
1998-1999 Texas Bluebonnet Award, Runner-Up
1998-1999 William Allen White Master Reading List (Kansas)
1998-1999 Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Master List
1998-1999 Sequoyah Book Award Master List (Oklahoma)
1998-1999 Volunteer State Book Award Master List (Tennessee)
1998-1999 NH Great Stone Face Children's Book Award Master List
1999 Sasquatch Reading Award Master List (Washington State)
2000-2001 Iowa Children's Choice Awards Master List
2001 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Master List (Illinois)
2001 Young Hoosier Book Award
2015 Bluestem Book Award Master List
"She writes in an approachable, familiar way, and readers will be hooked from the first page on…Although this is an excellent record of the progress of the disease, it is also a fascinating account of how an ordinary girl with crushes and homecoming dreams had to live for part of her adolescence in an artificial, restricted environment…An honest and well-done book."―School Library Journal
"A simple, direct, and sometimes self-deprecating style of writing tenderly draws readers into Kehret's experiences and the effects of the disease firsthand. Almost a half-century later, this lovely book refocuses attention on what matters most: health, love of family, friends, determination, generosity, and compassion."―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
- Lexile measure : 830L
- Grade level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 7.3 ounces
- Paperback : 179 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0807574589
- ISBN-13 : 978-0807574584
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Albert Whitman & Company; Illustrated edition (January 1, 1996)
- Reading level : 9 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #30,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Ultimately, this book is very accessible for people of any age, but especially kids. The language is simple but paints clear pictures of how Peg felt. She writes about the sadness of losing a favorite stuffed animal and the incredible joy of being able to drink a chocolate milkshake after being refused it for days. These simple things make it easy to relate to Peg and the other kids she writes about, even if we can't relate to her experience with polio.
As a parent, I appreciate all the information included about the history of polio. I appreciate the lessons Peg learned and shares with us, including never giving up, the importance of family, and how small kindnesses can make a big difference. There are beautiful life lessons subtly woven into this book that can provide great topics of conversation.
I recommend this book for any kid or family.
Mrs. Kehret brings the experience vividly to life, and left me teary-eyed in places at the suffering she endured. While not shying from the truth, she also wrote in a way that would be accessible and not horrifying for children to read. It is certainly educational, and highlights the blessing that the vaccine is.
1 - expose my students to unique and interesting experiences
2 - create an opportunity for students to learn new vocabulary
3 - make my student clamor for more
Small Steps satisfies all three requirements! It opens up an opportunity for these kids, who have never experienced the fear of contracting polio, to see what it was like to be suddenly stricken with polio, and also what it was like to recover from it.
It also has very robust vocabulary, and plenty of similes, metaphors, and era-appropriate references that make us stop and talk about it. "Who was the Lone Ranger anyway?" "What in the world is an Iron Lung?"
Finally, Small Steps has completely captivated my students. They cheered when Peg was able to move her arms; they giggled when Peg developed a crush on her doctor; they laughed when Peg tried the Hula; they told their family members, "you have to read this book!"; they went to the library and checked out other books written by Peg.
Small Steps is a great way to open up some great dialogue with your student or child. Kids in the 9-14 age range will enjoy this book.
You feel a personal connection to the main character, hanging on every word that she says. You get upset when she does, and celebrate every small accomplishment that she achieves.
Overall, a wonderful book for every age group, that leaves filled with happy tears.