Have you ever wanted to go swimming on a really hot day? 11-year-old Georgie wants to go swimming and to the movie during the hot Indiana summer, but she can’t. Public places are closed to help prevent the spread of Polio. To make matters worse, her family has moved across town and away from all of her friends. Her hopes rise when a new family moves in next door, and they have a daughter!
She sneaks through the bushes for a closer look as the new neighbors move in. Georgie discovers a shiny, silver, hissing, eerie machine. Terrified and mesmerized, Georgie stares at the machine. She ducks down as someone comes out side. They’re talking to the machine…. No! They’re talking to someone inside the hissing machine! Soon Georgie realizes the eerie, hissing machine is an iron lung, and inside is a teen-aged girl, Phyllis—the new neighbors’ daughter.
Phyllis survived Polio, but she can breathe only with the help of the iron lung. While Phyllis’s air may be limited by the size of the iron lung, her ability to manipulate those around her is unlimited. The newest person to be snagged in Phyllis’s web of deceit is Georgie’s brother, and Phyllis’s new love, Emmett.
Can Georgie unravel the web of lies before they all suffer the consequences of Phyllis’s decisions?
Kathryn Lasky weaves an intriguing story of friendship, love, and loss. Language and sensuality.
Recommended by Molly Bates, Librarian.