Grady, author of a number of New York Times articles on the topic, describes in personal, sometimes-heartrending detail her 2005 visit to Angola to cover the outbreak of Marburg fever there. Then she goes on to profile six more viral diseases that have jumped from animal to human victims: HIV and SARS, Avian Flu, Hantavirus, West Nile and Monkeypox. Rather than getting involved in technicalities, she goes for the human angle, recalling her own anxieties over visiting a country with 10 million land mines and cockroaches the size of hockey pucks. Moreover, she describes the makeshift conditions in a hospital isolation ward with one dying occupant, and admits her mixed feelings about attending a family’s funeral for a possibly infected child. Enhanced by news photos, side notes and a large list of citations to relevant Times articles, her accounts will be useful for assignments. They will also leave readers profoundly affected by not only the dangers of these often-unpredictable potential pandemics, but by the complex challenges facing medical professionals who fight to understand and contain them. (source notes, Internet resources, further reading) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2006

ISBN: 0-7534-5995-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

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A busy page design—artily superimposed text and photos, tinted portraits, and break-out boxes—and occasionally infelicitous writing (“Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie became . . . bandleader of the quintet at the Onyx Club, from which bebop got its name”) give this quick history of jazz a slapdash air, but Lee delves relatively deeply into the music’s direct and indirect African roots, then goes beyond the usual tedious tally of names to present a coherent picture of specific influences and innovations associated with the biggest names in jazz. A highly selective discography will give readers who want to become listeners a jump start; those seeking more background will want to follow this up with James Lincoln Collier’s Jazz (1997). (glossary, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8239-1852-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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With an emphasis on Western “makers” of the millennium, and, perhaps inevitably, deep coverage of the last 200 years and fleeting coverage of the first few centuries, this volume offers brief biographical sketches of 1,000 people who had an impact on the last 1,000 years. Profusely illustrated and printed on heavy glossy stock, this is a coffee table book for children, meant to be dipped into rather than read from start to finish. Organized chronologically, with a chapter for each century, the parade of people is given context through a timeline of major events, with those of particular importance discussed in special boxes. As with any effort of this kind, there are surprising omissions (the publisher is creating a website for readers’ own suggestions) and inclusions, a Western predominance that grows more pronounced in the later centuries, and an emphasis on sports and celebrity that finishes off the last few decades. The selection can seem highly subjective and provocatively arbitrary, e.g., the US presidents from Nixon back to Teddy Roosevelt are all covered, but none after Nixon. Still, there is a clear effort to include a wide variety of countries and cultures, and this ambitious effort will be the starting point for many historical journeys. (chronology, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-4709-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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