Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!
Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America
Author: Gail Jarrow
Published: May 10, 2016 by Calkins Creek
GoodReads Summary: In March 1900, San Francisco’s health department investigated a strange and horrible death in Chinatown. A man had died of bubonic plague, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. But how could that be possible? Bubonic Panic tells the true story of America’s first plague epidemic—the public health doctors who desperately fought to end it, the political leaders who tried to keep it hidden, and the brave scientists who uncovered the plague’s secrets. Once again, acclaimed author and scientific expert Gail Jarrow brings the history of a medical mystery to life in vivid and exciting detail for young readers. This title includes photographs and drawings, a glossary, a timeline, further resources, an author’s note, and source notes.
Review: I have read about the medieval plague, but I haven’t read much about the plague epidemic of the twentieth century. It was fascinating (and sad) to learn about this time period. Gail Jarrow has an incredible ability to make nonfiction material very accessible to readers. This book is a page-turner, and I had difficulty putting it down! The information is very easy to follow, yet it is complex and made me think! I will read any book by Jarrow because she really makes me think. Her texts go beyond medical information. There are themes, for example, about racism and prejudice that made me want to use this book in the classroom!
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: As with Gail Jarrow’s Fatal Fever, I think it would be wise for teachers to explore other diseases and epidemics while teaching this book. It would be particularly interesting to make connections between this book and Jarrow’s Red Madness and Fatal Fever. Students could participate in literature circles and discuss their learning. I also found the prejudice and scapegoating included in the text to be very interesting and think this would make for very worthy classroom discussions.
Discussion Questions: What role does fear play in the text? How does fear evolve? Is it often validated or invalidated? What negative consequences come with fear?; Are there any heroes in this book? Why or why not?; How can we connect the text to the modern anti-vaccination movement?
Read This If You Loved: Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by Gail Jarrow; Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat by Gail Jarrow; Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank
Check out the other stops on the blog tour!:
Monday, May 16
The Nonfiction Detectives
Tuesday, May 17
Wednesday, May 18
Thursday, May 19
Teach Mentor Texts
Friday, May 20
*Thank you to Kerry at Boyds Mills Press for sending this book for review!*
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