The Giant-slayer by Iain LawrenceThe Giant-slayer by Iain Lawrence

The Giant-slayer

byIain Lawrence

Hardcover | November 10, 2009

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A girl’s imagination transports polio-afflicted kids into a fantastic world.

The spring of 1955 tests Laurie Valentine’s gifts as a storyteller. After her friend Dickie contracts polio and finds himself confined to an iron lung, Laurie visits him in the hospital. There she meets Carolyn and Chip, two other kids trapped inside the breathing machines. Laurie’s first impulse is to flee, but Dickie begs her to tell them a story. And so Laurie begins her tale of Collosso, a rampaging giant, and Jimmy, a tiny boy whose destiny is to become a slayer of giants.

As Laurie embellishes her tale with gnomes, unicorns, gryphons, and other fanciful creatures, Dickie comes to believe that he is a character in her story. Little by little Carolyn, Chip, and other kids who come to listen, recognize counterparts as well. Laurie’s tale is so powerful that when she’s prevented from continuing it, Dickie, Carolyn, and Chip take turns as narrators. Each helps bring the story of Collosso and Jimmy to an end—changing the lives of those in the polio ward in startling ways.
Iain Lawrence is the author of numerous novels. He lives on Gabriola Island, British Columbia.
Title:The Giant-slayerFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.52 × 6.12 × 1.05 inPublished:November 10, 2009Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385733763

ISBN - 13:9780385733762

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written I had read this when I was a child, and even now I remember the story more vividly than ever as one of heartbreaking in the most beautiful ways ever written. I loved this story so much and it's been carried through me over the years - will never ever forget this book.
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Took me back in time When I was a child, my mother kept us kids tightly cloistered in the summer months when polio was active in our Toronto area. Everyone knew children who had become victims to polio. When the vaccine first became available the lineups to be vaccinated were long. The Giant Slayer, a story within a story, took me back to those days and gave me a glimpse into a polio hospital and it's iron lungs. I enjoyed all parts of this book and highly recommend it to both young and not so young readers.
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Story! My grade 4 teacher read this to my class many years ago and I loved the story! It was adventurous and a story within a story!
Date published: 2016-11-28

Editorial Reviews

Review, The Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2009:"Young Readers...will not quickly forget this moving, imaginative glimpse of the not-so-long ago past."Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, November 16, 2009:"Distinctive, emotionally honest characters and consistently engrossing prose make this book a standout." Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, October 16, 2009:"This profound, magical, dryly comical novel reminds readers of the power of story, but they will already be feeling it in their bones. Masterful."