Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor
Author: Kate Messner
Illustrator: Alexandra Bye
Published June 29th 2021 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Summary: The definitive picture book biography of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the most crucial figures in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before he was Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci was a curious boy in Brooklyn, delivering prescriptions from his father’s pharmacy on his blue Schwinn bicycle. His father and immigrant grandfather taught Anthony to ask questions, consider all the data, and never give up—and Anthony’s ability to stay curious and to communicate with people would serve him his entire life.
This engaging narrative, which draws from interviews the author did with Dr. Fauci himself, follows Anthony from his Brooklyn beginnings through medical school and his challenging role working with seven US presidents to tackle some of the biggest public health challenges of the past fifty years, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Extensive backmatter rounds out Dr. Fauci’s story with a timeline, recommended reading, a full spread of facts about vaccines and how they work, and Dr. Fauci’s own tips for future scientists.
Review: Dr. Fauci has been a face on our TV for over 15 months now, but I know that my son only knows that he is the “COVID Doctor.” What Kate Messner does in her picture book of Dr. Fauci is bring him to life for any who read it. The book shows his humanity behind the glasses and doctor’s coat we see on TV. The book explores what makes Dr. Fauci the inquisitive, kind, brilliant man he is today.
I loved learning about his past: his kindness from a young age, his father’s advice to keep his mind thinking, and his “just watch me” moment from construction to doctor all leading to becoming the expert he is today. Kids, and adults alike, will love Kate’s narrative of Dr. Fauci’s life filled with anecdotes and accolades, and all of it is brought to life with colorful and realistic illustrations by Alexandra Bye which ties it all together.
This is a book that will find a place in homes, schools, and libraries!
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I would have “Dr. Fauci’s FIVE TIPS for Future Scientists” be norms during my science lessons! They are such important reminders from a contemporary scientist:
- Keep an open mind.
- Don’t be afraid to fail.
- Get excited about discovery.
- Remember that science is self-correcting.
- Keep learning.
Also, use the publisher-provided educator’s guide for use in the classroom!
Video of Kate Messner’s interview with Dr. Fauci:
- What did you learn about Dr. Fauci?
- How did learning about Dr. Fauci affect how you feel about the COVID-19 pandemic?
- How do vaccines work? Are vaccines safe?
- How did Dr. Fauci’s father’s words drive Dr. Fauci?
- Why do guidelines about viruses change from time to time?
- How did Dr. Fauci deal with criticism during the AIDS epidemic? What does this tell you about him?
- How does the author turn the biography into a story?
- Although Anthony wasn’t the tallest or best on his basketball team, he ended up being team captain. Why?
- How does Dr. Fauci inspire you?
- Why do you think the author chose to write a book about Dr. Fauci now?
Read This If You Love: Picture book biographies, science, medicine, inspirational books
**Thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing a copy for review!**