Awesome, awesome book. That being said, on with the review.
Ann Fay is finally home from the hospital, where she sat for months, fighting to stay alive as polio ravaged her body. She's about to return to school, behind all of her friends, and is upset, not quite understanding why this has happened to her. She's not only behind in school, but she has to walk with loud, clunky braces, definitely making her stand out, rather than blend in with her classmates. At the same time, her precious father is also fighting some inner demons, having returned from the war an emotionally damaged man, mixing up Ann Fay's own emotions something fierce.
When Ann Fay is given the chance to go to the Georgie Warm Springs Foundation, started by Franklin D. Roosevelt, to continue her therapy and hopefully relearn to walk without assistance, she goes, but not without huge reservations. She doesn't want to leave her family, feeling they need her more than she needs to walk. Once Ann arrives, she makes friends, starts to truly heal, and really makes progress in her walking. Unfortunately, when a friend from home shows up with bad news from her family, Ann knows she has to make a huge decision, to leave her beloved Warm Springs or to stay.
So... Comfort is the continuation of Blue, which I've never read, so I'm not able to tell you how much I liked this novel in comparison to the other. Going in, I was a little apprehensive of reading a book that most definitely had a prequel, however I really felt it completely stands along, with whatever backstory is necessary given throughout the plot, without leaving the reader with the feeling that something is missing.
Author Joyce Moyer Hostetter's story is written in a manner that flows so well and really is comforting (like the title pun??) to return to. I spent a couple of days reading this one, not feeling the need to race through it to know what happens, but continually picked up when wanting something lovely and warm-feeling to read. One of my favorites of the year!
Safe to hand to middle graders or young adults.
Notes on the cover:
Yuck. Not a fan at all. My husband's words, when asked what he thought of it was "it looks like a school book on a dusty shelf in the school library." In other words, boring. Not interesting. Not intriguing to pick up at all. Honestly, probably wouldn't have grabbed it at the library unless it was a Cybils read. A classic case of "don't judge a book by its cover."
Hostetter also wrote Healing Water, which I loooooved last year.
Joyce Moyer Hostetter
Young Adult Fiction
Calkins Creek Books
Book borrowed from the local library
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