In this sequel to Blue, Joyce Moyer Hostetter’s award-winning tale of a young white girl’s battle with polio and her friendship with a black girl in the hospital where she recuperates, we follow Ann Fay’s struggle to accept her polio-induced disability and the knowledge that she’s different from everybody else. At the same time, her father is suffering post-war psychological trauma. He’s not the same father or husband, and Ann Fay isn’t sure how to cope with his personality change, particularly the threat of violence.
In Comfort, Hostetter offers the story of a polio survivor who, like all of us, wants others to treat her as a human being rather than as a person to be pitied. The novel is gripping in its stark portrayal of how the horrors of disease and war leave men and women crippled in body and soul, yet it also offers hope for healing. This is a novel teens will enjoy for the story – it’s a great read – but can also be used in classrooms to explore the history of polio and, to a lesser extent, the history of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who suffered from polio; the problems that disabled individuals face navigating through a world made for the able-bodied; and the damage that war inflicts on soldiers. Definitely recommended.