Lessons of Hope From the Past

Dear teachers,

Last December, Lauren Tarshis shared on Twitter that she’d been thinking a lot about the stories her grandmother used to tell her about living through polio epidemics—how schools closed, the way families quarantined at home, the feelings of fear. Lauren wrote that thinking about those stories filled her with hope—because, of course, polio was conquered.

The response to that tweet was extraordinary, and it included many requests from you that she write about her family’s experience. So that’s exactly what she did! I am honored to share Lauren’s story “From Fear to Hope” in this issue. It’s fascinating and important and deeply relevant. And most of all? It’s filled with hope.



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Ready to get started? Here are our favorite teaching packages from this issue:

Nonfiction: From Fear to Hope

Author Lauren Tarshis shares her grandmother’s stories of what it was like to grow up during the polio outbreaks of the 1920s and ‘30s.

Featured skill: key ideas and details

Play: The Golden Curse

A delightful play based on the Greek myth of King Midas

Featured skill: theme

Paired Texts: The Vanishing Beasts

Explore the history of the buffalo in America

Featured skill: synthesis