In the Clear

In the Clear

by Anne Laurel Carter
     
 

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On her seventh birthday, Pauline rode across the lawns on her street followed by her best friend Henry, he on the blue wooden horse, she on the red. On the seventh lawn at the top of the street, she collapsed, becoming a sudden victim of the polio outbreak of the summer of 1954.Five years later, when In the Clear begins, she has survived, but paid a heavy price. A…  See more details below

Overview

On her seventh birthday, Pauline rode across the lawns on her street followed by her best friend Henry, he on the blue wooden horse, she on the red. On the seventh lawn at the top of the street, she collapsed, becoming a sudden victim of the polio outbreak of the summer of 1954.Five years later, when In the Clear begins, she has survived, but paid a heavy price. A brace on her left leg allows her to walk, but she confines herself to her house, humiliated at the notion of being seen. Terrified by what Pauline has already suffered, her mother watches over her, forbidding her to play hockey on the ice rink her father has created in the backyard. In the Clear alternates, chapter by chapter, between Pauline's horror-filled year in the hospital five years earlier and her struggles to adapt in the present of 1959 and 1960. At the end of the book, her triumphs in past and present come together and she is able to move forward with new friendships, a renewed bond with her mother and, most important, a new faith in herself.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This story is set in Canada, where hockey is the sport of choice for many youngsters. Pauline has endured polio and the iron lung but her desire to play hockey is not shaken. She sits on her window seat and plays table-hockey with little metal men. Her mother is very protective and home-schools her, but Pauline wants more then anything to go to regular school with her friends. But the crowd and the stairs are more then she can manage and Pauline is reconciled to staying home. As a surprise, her dad builds an ice rink in their backyard. Pauline learns how to use a special chair so she can play with her friends. With physical therapy and a new brace, she manages a few steps with crutches and she can move without a wheelchair. Following the birth of a sister, Pauline convinces her mother that she should be allowed to attend school. Her friends ask the caretaker to allow the use of the freight elevator and school becomes a reality. The hockey season is ending and the ice rink is beginning to melt, but Pauline and her friends want one last hockey game. Pauline plays forward, much to her delight. 2001, Orca Book Publishers, $6.95. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer:Karen Werner
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-A victim of the 1950s polio epidemic, Pauline doesn't let her wheelchair or crutches stand in the way of her passion for hockey. Carter alternates first-person accounts of a young Canadian teenager of the late '50s and early '60s written in the present tense with past-tense chapters that recount the events seven years earlier when the crippling disease struck. The author writes skillfully enough to make this device work, although the treatment of the dualities in the girl's world is a little heavy-handed: her easygoing dad versus her worrisome, overprotective mother; the mother versus glamorous, adventurous Tante Marie, who gives her niece a hockey stick for Christmas; the wicked nurse and physical therapist versus nurse "Nightingale" at the rehabilitation hospital; the girl's desire to resume her active life versus her desire to avoid embarrassment. Pauline is believable and accessible: she fears that her own selfishness is to blame for her disease; her anxiety about returning to school turns into determination; her response, at age 13, to the news that her mother is pregnant ("I don't want a sister or brother who can run or skate") is childish. The freedom that Pauline feels when her dad helps her become a wheelchair hockey player in their backyard rink is palpable. With a little promise of romance thrown in, this novel will make good recreational reading, and it seamlessly incorporates information on the historic epidemic.-Sue Sherif, Alaska State Library, Anchorage Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554694846
Publisher:
Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/2001
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
457 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Anne Laurel Carter was born in Don Mills, Ontario. She has suffered from a bad case of wanderlust all of her life, which has taken her all over the world. In between travelling, Anne completed Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Education. Anne loves working with children, and became an ESL and French teacher. She is also the mother of four children, but still found time to read, write and become a multi award-winning author of several books for children.

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