- IRA Children's Book Award (Category: Intermediate Fiction)
- Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award
- Virginia Readers' Choice Middle School List, 2008-2009
- Best Children's Books of the Year —Bank Street College of Education
- South Carolina Junior Book Award Master List —South Carolina Association of School Librarians
- Pennsylvania School Librarians Association YA Top Forty List, Fiction
- Best Books for Young Readers —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"The intriguing history of the illness and the powerful first-person voice will propel readers through to the novel's deeply satisfying conclusion."
"Chock full of life, history and character development...intriguing. ...The subject of polio is a rare one in children's fiction, and these characters and their story are worth getting to know. "
"A compelling story of resourcefulness, loss, and the healing power of friendship."
—School Library Journal
"The characters' authentic reactions result in a compelling story about rebuilding a family during a time of illness and war."
—The Horn Book Guide
"This compelling and well-researched historical novel explores many aspects of World War II-era American life, both those familiar to young readers and those less well known. The story is historically and medically accurate and is enhanced by author's notes and a bibliography. The book is beautifully written, with vivid use of symbolism focused on the color blue, from Ann Fay's overalls to the dreaded wisteria vines that threaten to choke the life out of her victory garden just as the war, poverty, and polio affect her family's life. This memorable tale of the healing power of family and friendship is highly recommended for school and public libraries serving middle school and high school students."
—Voice of Youth Advocates
"This is three-hankie historical fiction about a truly grim time in American history, but Hostetter manages to avoid too much sentiment by focusing on Ann Fay's determination and common sense in the face of hard times. Readers in this iconoclastic age will be struck by the admiration and esteem people, especially fellow polio victims, felt for Roosevelt, as well as the spirit of volunteerism that characterized the response to the domestic epidemic in the midst of war."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A compelling tale of family love, tragedy, and friendship. Hostetter has done her research, as the list of resources at the end of her book attests, but you never forget that Ann Fay is driving the story. She is a powerful character, and you'll find yourself caring deeply about the fate of Ann Fay and her family."