“The fifties – they seem to have taken place on a sunny afternoon that asked nothing of you except a drifting belief in the moment and its power to satisfy.”
If you haven’t already, I would recommend reading my post titled Book Review #15: “The One and Only: A Maryellen Classic” before diving into this one.
Maryellen’s story continues as she prepares to celebrate her tenth birthday in 1955.
Three weeks before her birthday, a historic day emerges. Around the world, it’s broadcast that Dr. Jonas Salk has perfected a safe and effective vaccine for polio.
This is significant, since it was mentioned previously that Maryellen suffered from the illness during the Polio Epidemic of 1952. Fortunately, she only has two long-lasting effects – One slightly weaker leg and sensitive lungs.
As spring begins to change into summer, Maryellen experiences a bit of fame and those effects, both good and bad. She learns several lessons along the way, about fame, attention, bragging, and friendship.
Shortly before summer vacation starts, Dad brings home a silver spaceship of a surprise – The 1955 Airstream trailer. The whole family goes West and explores much of the American landscape. Maryellen gets caught in the middle of gathering ideas for a science contest, the dog getting loose, figuring out whether or not her sister Joan really wants to get married, and more.
One of Maryellen’s excellent traits is coming up with great, practical ideas, especially in times of adversity. Because of this, she’s able to help her mother, father, sister Joan, and unites her girl friends and boy friends together to form an amazing science contest team.
The two stories blend very well together. They transported me from my home in Virginia straight to Daytona Beach, the Alamo, Old Faithful, and back to Daytona Beach. I could visualize everything, and almost smell certain smells.
In the future, I plan to explore the two other books in the Maryellen collection: The Sky’s The Limit: My Journey with Maryellen (Choose-your-own-adventure), and The Finders-Keepers Rule (Historical Character Mystery).
4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂