Shirley Hartung’s book entitled Grounded is not just for children. My husband and I sat down and we both read it cover to cover with interest and attention – it is a real page-turner! Touching, compelling, educational, and well written. I grew up in the fifties under the fear of polio. Childhood activities were curtailed by parents who were afraid for their children. Many people growing up later do not know what we all went through, but Shirley has brought this topic to the forefront again. The workbook is an excellent addition to the story book. Bravo, Shirley, for bringing this subject to our attention once again.
Leslie Bamford, Waterloo, Ontario
Published author in various genres, and teacher of writing for over ten years
REVIEW BY JUDY WOODHOUSE (ESL teacher and author of a series entitled Multicultural Tales)
Imagine the excitement of a group of rural children on the first day of summer vacation. They are looking forward to swimming, fishing and the Canadian National Exhibition. However, this summer, none of those activities are allowed because of the fear caused by polio.
Before the polio vaccine, in the 1950s, thousands of people were paralyzed by polio and many died. Elementary school children were among those often affected.
For young Marie, this made for a very lonely summer. Her cousin Ricky became ill and was not able to visit. All swimming pools were closed and many summer activities cancelled due to this terrible disease. We can understand Marie’s frustration as well as the fear when she and her friends contact this deadly virus.
I am sure many school children can identify with the feeling of being “grounded.” Many new Canadian families have left their homes in other countries in order to immigrate to Canada for a better life and to be safe. Some have left behind families and friends, even their pets and toys. Like Marie, their world has been turned upside down.
I feel this book would be useful in regular and as well as ESL classes. It provides a direct connection to an important period in our history.
The seventy page activity book which compliments the novel has many activities for both the advanced as well as the reluctant learner.