“A moving and well-wrought story.” ―School Library Journal
“A quiet, sober story of a genuine heroine who survives a devastating disease with grace.” ―Kirkus
“…a perfect read…” ―Horn Book
“Hayles’s sympathetic characters and detailed account is complemented by historical documents and photos throughout.” ―Publishers Weekly
Henry Holt & Co. / 2012
Evvy Hoffmeister is thirteen years old when her family brings her to Loon Lake Sanatorium to get cured of tuberculosis (TB). Evvy is frightened by her new surroundings; the rules to abide are harsh and the nurses equally rigid. But Evvy soon falls into step with the other girls in her ward. There’s Sarah, quiet but thoughtful; Pearl, who adores Hollywood glamour; and Dina, whose harshness conceals a deep strength. Together, the girls brave the difficult daily routines. Set in 1940 at a time of political unrest throughout the U.S. and Europe, this thought-provoking novel sheds light on a much-feared worldwide illness. Hundreds of thousands of people died each year of TB, and many ill children were sent away to sanatoriums to hopefully recover.
Marsha Hayles' Breathing Room is a masterful novel—both eloquent and moving—that gives voice to those who fought hard to overcome the illness.
- Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of 20130.