Book Review and Music Pairing: Breathing Room, by Marsha Hayes

breathing_roomThis story is set during WWII, and a horrible illness is causing many fatalities.  One 13-year-old girl has caught tuberculosis.  She is coughing up blood and is moving into a sanatorium called Loon Lake.  Evvy has to  leave her family and her twin brother, Abe, behind.  Evvy is frightened in this new home, because she is placed in a ward with three other girls who ignore her.  To make matters worse, it seems as though she is not recovering from the tuberculosis.

Not a lot is going right for her, but as I was reading, I was thinking our main character was not dying, but, in a sense, getting stronger.  Therefore, the song “What Doesn’t Kill You” by Kelly Clarkson would fit well at this point in the story if the novel was developed into a film.

Days, weeks, and months go by with little improvement.  My anxiety increased, and my heart was quivering with the start of each new chapter.  It was very sad, but some aspects of Evvy’s life were getting better.  A new girl, named Sarah, was admitted in the ward.  Sarah was the only person who Evvy was able to talk to.  Evvy thought everything was going as good as it could, until one of the girls was discharged.  One of the nicer girls…  Then, the events that followed spelled near disaster for Evvy.  One day as Evvy sat next to one of her dying roommates, I thought of the song “Say Something” by One Big World, in the hopes that the roommate would recover.

This book takes its reader on a quite an emotional journey.  The reader feels such a connection with the main character’s hopes for a better day.  Evvy reaches out to help others but doesn’t always succeed.  Yet, I learned that it is the thought that counts.  I loved this book and would rate it an 11 of out of 10 for its thought-provoking message .

-Maya S., 7th grade

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