The Giant-Slayer Book Review
When Laurie’s best friend contacts Polio, she tells him and his sick friends at the hospital a story of bravery and hope. Kidzworld reviews The Giant-Slayer by Iain Lawrence.
The Giant-Slayer Rating:
Author: Iain Lawrence
In 1950, the Polio epidemic was on the rise. Laurie Valentine’s father and nanny lived in constant fear that Laurie would contract the degenerating disease. They made her fear Spring—the beautiful flowers only meant the start of Polio season. She had next to no freedom. She couldn’t share lunches, drink from the fountain or use a public toilet. She couldn’t go to the movies, the bowling alley, the swimming pool or the playground, or anywhere else that children gathered.
The Iron Lung
In the summer of 1955, Laurie’s best and only friend Dickie contracted the horrible disease. He was reduced to an iron lung, permanently hospitalized. Laurie’s father refused to let her visit him, but Laurie wasn’t going to let that stop her. She began making weekly trips to the hospital where she found Dickie and two other children in iron lungs.
Jimmy and the Giant
Her visits became the most anticipated source of entertainment for the sick children when she began telling them an ongoing story of a fierce giant and a small boy named Jimmy who was destined to become a giant slayer. Each week, Laurie continued her tale of Jimmy’s adventures from his birth, to his curse, to his adventurous and dangerous journey in search of his missing mother.
The Bottom Line
The Giant-Slayer by Iain Lawrence is a brave story that illuminates the struggles and hope of a potentially fatal disease. Laurie's story is filled with symbolism, with nearly every character reflecting one of the sick children in the hospital. The book shows how even the smallest and weakest of people can overcome some of life’s giant obstacles.