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By Ann Love and Jane Drake. Tundra Books. 128 pages. $22.95
Thursday, October 3, 2013
This is a lively tale about deadly infections from the 10 plagues visited upon the Egyptians in the Book of Exodus to SARS ( severe acute respiratory syndrome) in the media headlines this decade.
There is a reasonably full list of horrible epidemics: plague, smallpox, tuberculosis, cholera, polio, influenza, AIDS, etc. Matched with each disease is an entertaining, if only in retrospect, description of the contemporary thoughts on causation and the usually futile attempts at treatment.
Fortunately and very appropriately, there are hortatory sections extolling vaccination, soap and water, and healthy life style choices.
This book is intended for a juvenile audience — I’d guess middle schoolers — so it’s not overly long (120 pages). It certainly is not boringly detailed. In fact, it is aptly illustrated, and the yucky aspects of bodily functions deranged by infection are dealt with sensitively.
My favorite part: the 10 pages relating the story of the Black Death of the 14th century.
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