45 pages 1 hour read

Peg Kehret


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2004

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Author Context: Peg Kehret

Born Margaret Ann Schulze on November 11, 1936, Wisconsin native Peg Kehret is a popular author who writes novels for children ages 10 through 15. Peg married Carl Kehret in 1955; they went on to adopt two children, Bob (1959) and Anne (1961). Carl passed away in 2004, but is survived by his two children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Her most well-known work is her memoir titled Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio, which details her struggles with and eventual triumph over poliomyelitis (polio), a debilitating disease that crippled or killed thousands of people each year until the mid-1900s. In 1948, Peg Kehret (age 12) was diagnosed with bulbar polio—the rarest and most aggressive form of the disease—and rapidly lost mobility across her entire body. As she spent time in a rehabilitation facility called the Sheltering Arms, she continued to regress until she struggled to swallow and nearly had to be moved to a ventilator. She was transferred to University Hospital in Minnesota, where she made miraculous steps toward recovery and eventually was able to return to the Sheltering Arms. She made lifelong friends among fellow patients and fought to walk again. Peg won her fight against polio and was released from the Sheltering Arms nine months later.