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In the summer of 1937, life on the Prairies is not easy. The Great Depression has brought great hardship, and young Noreen's family must scrimp to make ends meet.
In a horrible twist of fate, Noreen, like hundreds of other young Canadians, contracts polio and is placed in an isolation ward, unable to move her legs. After a few weeks she gains partial recovery, but her family makes the painful decision to send her to a hospital far away for further treatment.
To Stand On My Own is Noreen's diary account of her journey through recovery: her treatment; life in the ward; the other patients, some of them far worse off than her; adjustment to life in a wheelchair and on crutches; and ultimately, the emotional and physical hurdles she must face when she returns home.
In this moving addition to the Dear Canada series, award-winning author Barbara Haworth-Attard recreates a desolate time in Canadian history, and one girl's brave fight against a deadly disease.