In the ""People Who Have Helped the World"" series, the life of Canadian surgeon Bethune (1890-1939), about whom most readers will know little. This scrappy son of a Presbyterian minister could trace his ancestry back to French aristocracy, knowledge that inspired Bethune to make his own contribution to the world. In a TB hospital (where he was a patient) and on battlefields around the world, he invented surgical tools and methods (including portable blood units) that save lives; he also fought for reforms in public health care. Though a hero abroad (especially in China), he was for years almost unknown in his native country. Corkett shares the reverence of the Chinese for Bethune, and works hard to make his life compelling to readers. But text-heavy pages and distracting, not always relevant marginal quotes from adult biographies often don't further her good intentions. Still, Bethune's valor shines through: the book proves that one person can make a difference. Photos; list of organizations; bibliography; chronology; glossary; index.