Readers will want to dig deeper into this true story of canine heroes and lifesaving science.

FRED & MARJORIE

A DOCTOR, A DOG, AND THE DISCOVERY OF INSULIN

This graphic novel tells the story of an idea that saved countless children’s lives—but it required sacrifices from some of man’s best friends.

In 1920, juvenile diabetes was a death sentence. A young Canadian surgeon, Dr. Frederick Banting, worked with children dying of the disease and had a hunch that pancreatic secretions could be used to make a lifesaving treatment. However, in order to test his hypothesis, Dr. Banting would need to experiment on dogs, and most of them would die as a result. Banting’s hunch would eventually turn into the development of insulin, a lifesaving treatment for diabetics and a world-changing medical advancement, but at what cost? Poon’s delicate, empathetic illustrations help readers see that Dr. Banting is an animal lover who struggles with attachment to his stray-dog subjects and is heartbroken when they die as a result of their time in the lab. One in particular, Marjorie, captures his heart. Marjorie becomes the most long-lived test subject, proving that insulin treatments were ready for testing on a human patient, and dies a hero in Banting’s arms. Ethical issues are addressed in a concluding note in which readers are encouraged to think critically about the use of animals in lifesaving research; an author’s note and list of sources attest to Kerbel’s own research. Dr. Banting and his colleagues present White.

Readers will want to dig deeper into this true story of canine heroes and lifesaving science. (Graphic nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77147-411-5

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A classic story of outsiders making friends—with a little something more.

LONG DISTANCE

After moving to a new city, a girl attends a wilderness camp to help her make new friends.

When astronomy-obsessed 9-year-old Vega’s dad Wes gets a new job, the family moves from Portland to Seattle. Vega is not happy about this change and doesn’t want to leave her best friend behind, worrying they will grow apart. Vega’s dad Javi thinks making new friends will help her adjust, so he signs her up for Camp Very Best Friend, which is designed to help introverted local children build new friendships. Vega is not exactly eager to go but makes a deal with Wes, agreeing to try out camp as long as he tries to make a new friend too. It quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary outdoor adventure, and Vega and her fellow campers try to figure out what is really going on. The story smoothly incorporates STEM facts with insets on the page to define and highlight terms or tools. An unexpected twist toward the end of this fast-paced adventure that reveals the truth behind the camp will surprise readers. The clean, bright artwork is enhanced by panels of varying shapes and clear, easy-to-follow speech bubbles. Race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are not explicitly addressed; characters’ names and physical appearances indicate a broadly diverse cast starting with brown-skinned Vega and her two dads.

A classic story of outsiders making friends—with a little something more. (Graphic fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5566-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A rare chance to shine for the former ninth planet.

PLUTO'S SECRET

AN ICY WORLD'S TALE OF DISCOVERY

Is it a planet? A dwarf planet? What’s up with that mysterious body that, even in our best telescopes, floats tantalizingly at the edge of visibility?

Pairing a lighthearted narrative in a hand-lettered–style typeface with informally drawn cartoon illustrations, this lively tale of astronomical revelations begins with the search for “Planet X.” It then sweeps past Pluto’s first sighting by Clyde Tombaugh and its naming by 11-year-old Venetia Burney to the later discovery of more icy worlds—both in our solar system’s Kuiper belt and orbiting other stars. Meanwhile, sailing along with a smug expression, the mottled orange planetoid is “busy dancing with its moons. / Cha-cha / Cha-cha-cha” and Kuiper buddies as it waits for Earth’s astronomers to realize at last that it’s different from the other planets (“BINGO!”) and needs a new classification. Ceres inexplicably rates no entry in the gallery of dwarf planets, and the closing glossary isn’t exactly stellar (“World: Any object in space”), but fans of Basher’s postmodern science surveys will feel right at home with the buoyant mix of personification and hard fact.

A rare chance to shine for the former ninth planet. (photos and additional detail, “Note from the Museum,” suggested reading, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0423-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more