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In the late 1920s, Anna tries to help her younger sister Katya regain her strength and joy in life after she becomes crippled by polio.
The narrator recalls how long ago, as a young girl, she used to dance with her beloved baby sister Katya in the house and the surrounding fields of the family's farm. But when Katya is five she is suddenly overcome by a high fever. Although she recovers from the lingering illness, Katya's legs are left weakened and twisted. Still, the older sister dances with her beloved younger sibling, lifting her high and carrying her around in a wheelbarrow. Together they dream of a time when Katya will dance on her own once again. Then Mama and Papa announce that Katya must leave home and go to a hospital in the city where doctors will try to make her legs strong again. The narrator misses her sister and worries: will the treatment work so that Katya will dance again?
From The Book Jacket
ANNA AND HER LITTLE SISTER KATYA LIVE ON A WISCONSIN FARM. THEIR FAVORITE GAME IS DANCING IN THE MEADOW, PRETENDING THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL BALLERINAS IN SATIN SLIPPERS WITH RIBBONS TIED AROUND THEIR ANKLES. BUT WHEN KATYA FALLS ILL WITH A MYSTERIOUS CRIPPLING DISEASE CALLED POLIO, HER DANCING DREAMS ARE PUT ON HOLD-PERHAPS FOREVER. EVEN THOUGH KATYA'S HEALTH IMPROVES, THE SICKNESS HAS LEFT HER LEGS WEAK AND MISSHAPENED. MAMA AND KATYA MUST TRAVEL TO A SPECIAL HOSPITAL IN MINNEAPOLIS, WHERE KATYA WILL LEARN TO WALK AGAIN. WHILE WAITING EAGERLY FOR HER SISTER'S RETURN, ANNA DREAMS OF RETURNING ONCE MORE TO THEIR BALLERINA GAME. KATYA'S HOMECOMING, HOWEVER, IS BITTERSWEET. SHE HAS UGLY, BULKY BRACES ON HER LEGS, AND WALKS AS STIFFLY AS A DIME STORE SOLDIER. BOTH GIRLS ARE SORELY DISAPPOINTED, AND KATY GROWS INCREASINLGLY DESPONDENT. ULTIMATELY, THOUGH, ANNA USSES HER INGENUITY-AND HER HEART-TO FIND A WAY FOR HER SISTER TO DANCE AGAIN, IN HER OWN JOYOUS WAY.
Buy Dancing With Katya by Dori Chaconas & Constance Rummel Bergum from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781561453764 & 1561453765
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