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 novelboth eloquent and movingthat gives voice to those who fought hard to overcome the illness.
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By Marsha Hayles
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)Copyright © 2012 Marsha Hayles
All right reserved.
CHAPTER 1Leaving(May 1940)
FATHER JERKED THE CAR to the side of the road and stopped. "Are you okay, Evvy?" he asked, turning in his seat to look at me.I pitched my head back, gasping for air between coughs. Breathe! a voice inside me screamed. I dropped the Loon Lake brochure. A blast of heavy, moist air shot up from my lungs and exploded into the handkerchief I'd grabbed and pressed against my lips.But I could breathe again. "I'm okay, Father," I said, though my voice crackled as if it had just been hatched and never used before. "Really I am."He sank back down into his seat and grabbed the steering wheel. "Ya got Francy?" he asked, glancing at me in the rearview mirror, worry in his eyes.I lifted my stuffed bear to show him. Thirteen was too old to be holding on to a teddy bear--at least, that's what Mother thought. I was glad Father didn't feel that way."Then get some rest, Puddlejump," Father said, using the nickname he'd given me when I was a little girl. "And don't worry, we'll be there soon." As if that could make me feel any better.He put the car in gear, and the two of us were off again, driving to Loon Lake--or Loony Lake, as my twin brother, Abe, had already renamed it--a sanatorium where sick and contagious people like me went to get better. At least, that was the hope.When I knew Father wasn't looking, I opened my hand. The damp handkerchief unfolded just enough so I could see the streaks of blood across it. It wasn't the first time I'd coughed up blood. But I'd never told anybody, not even Abe. I was too afraid. Did this blood mean I was going to die?Copyright © 2012 by Marsha Hayles
Excerpted from Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles Copyright © 2012 by Marsha Hayles. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Leaving (May 1940) 1
Chapter 2 Loonless Lake 4
Chapter 3 Turning into a Patient 9
Chapter 4 A Gray Picture 13
Chapter 5 The Others 18
Chapter 6 The Land of Rules 23
Chapter 7 Smelly Stuff 28
Chapter 8 Going Home 32
Chapter 9 A Different June 40
Chapter 10 The Routine (June 1940) 45
Chapter 11 The New Bug 50
Chapter 12 Blue Nothing 54
Chapter 13 Blue Something 62
Chapter 14 The Giant 67
Chapter 15 Moving Pictures 70
Chapter 16 Out of Breath 76
Chapter 17 Flying Away 81
Chapter 18 A Boost 86
Chapter 19 Numbers 91
Chapter 20 Discharged 96
Chapter 21 Looking Back 101
Chapter 22 A Brook 107
Chapter 23 Cold News 113
Chapter 24 Wind and Weather 120
Chapter 25 A Ruby 127
Chapter 26 A Different Current 134
Chapter 27 Gifts 144
Chapter 28 More Gifts 149
Chapter 29 The Plan 152
Chapter 30 The Lie 159
Chapter 31 Making Sense 163
Chapter 32 A Warming 166
Chapter 33 Finding Her 171
Chapter 34 Losing Her 175
Chapter 35 Good-bye 181
Chapter 36 Letting Go 183
Chapter 37 Bed Post 189
Chapter 38 Midnight Journey 195
Chapter 39 A Different Path 205
Chapter 40 Last Night (July 8, 1941) 209
Chapter 41 Going Home 215
Chapter 42 Blank Pages 219
Author's Note 225
Notes on the Images 233
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Breathing Room is a great book for mid-grade/young adult readers that works on many levels. The characters are interesting and you care what happens to them. Understanding the complexity of tuberculosis and it's treatment, or lack of, is woven seamlessly into the story. And it works well for this age group as a way to open a discussion on facing life even when it throws a curveball. Excellent book!
I totally love this book. Its sad and outgoing at the same time! It seems like a real help to people to help overcome sicknesses!
This is one of my favorite books. It is so inspiring and sad. I totally will tell all my friends to read it!!! Trust me it is one of the best!!!! :)
&%$##$@$%&$&;*+*-&+&$#%-&*& This book was so sad I cryed during the end of the book so good.
Breathing Room is such a great book! Iv'e read it twice and haven't gotten tired of it. Martha Hayles uses great detail makes me feel really close to the people who have TB. I not only had fun reading this book,but I also learned a little about TB. This book is definetely a must read.
Learned alot from this story. Did not know much about TB but now I know a little bit more. Evvy's story inspirational and very sad. Quick and easy read. Very well written.
This is by far my favorite book ive never read a book as many times as this one either
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