Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Wonder Kid by George Harrar

In 1954 no one knew how polio was contracted, but many people were afraid that it was from swimming in contaminated water, or being in public places. The main character of The Wonder Kid, Jesse James MacLean (named after the famous outlaw Jesse James), is spending a boring summer indoors because his mother is trying to keep him from catching polio. His father is a not-very-nice guy who is away from home most of the time on business (which Jesse is grateful for), and Jesse's grandfather, who Jesse is very close to, has come to live with them. Even when Jesse becomes ill, his father treats him like it's his fault, and he's a weakling to be sick. I really liked this book. The characters are believable, and it gives a good picture of what life was like for a kid growing up in the 1950's. Review by Stacy Church

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