A top-notch addition to the popular topic of deadly diseases.

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FATAL FEVER

TRACKING DOWN TYPHOID MARY

This engrossing story about Typhoid Mary relates the grim history of typhoid fever, which killed tens of thousands of Americans in the early 1900s.

The narrative opens in 1907, when Dr. Josephine Baker, a New York City medical inspector, and three police officers paid a visit on Irish immigrant Mary Mallon, later known as Typhoid Mary. Mallon was a healthy-looking, middle-aged cook suspected of carrying typhoid bacteria and infecting those she worked for, sometimes fatally. Chapters about finding and imprisoning Mallon alternate with those on typhoid, its symptoms, how it spread and how it was largely eradicated. Lively writing uses primary sources to relate well-chosen, sometimes-gruesome details about the disease and convey the personalities of Mallon, Baker and George Soper, a sanitary engineer who tracked down Mallon through her employment history. An unusually attractive design incorporates many photographs, such artifacts as posters and cartoons, and sidebars. More than a chronological account, this exploration pays tribute to the power of public health measures and raises questions about the ethics of protecting the public by quarantining someone like Mallon, who sued for her freedom.

A top-notch addition to the popular topic of deadly diseases. (timeline, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62091-597-4

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead.

THE PERFECT HORSE

THE DARING RESCUE OF HORSES KIDNAPPED DURING WORLD WAR II

Letts adapts her bestselling 2016 work of the same title for young readers.

As World War II sweeps across Europe, the fates of several master horsemen become entwined. In Poland, Andrzej Kristalovich, head of the national stud farm, sees his life’s work disappear when Russian soldiers capture his horses. Nazi Germans, invading next, restore some of the animals in order to breed them for the Third Reich. Meanwhile, in Vienna, Olympic medalist Alois Podhajsky is desperately trying to care for the Lipizzan stallions at the famed Spanish Riding School even as the invading Germans capture the Lipizzan stud farms and move most of the horses to Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, at an American Army base in Kansas, Maj. Hank Reed is overseeing the cavalry’s transition from horses, no longer useful in warfare, to mechanized vehicles. These threads come together at the end of the war when Reed orchestrates a complex rescue of both sets of horses. This is not a particularly successful adaptation. It’s shorter than the original, but both the storyline and timeline are fragmented, making it difficult for the putative audience of 8- to 12-year-olds to follow, and extraneous details fail to advance the main narrative. Aside from a map and archival images (both not seen), there is no timeline or other visual aid to help organize the narrative. Characters are all white.

If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead. (author’s note, characters, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64474-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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THE CIVIL WAR AT SEA

In this companion to Portraits of War: Civil War Photographers and Their Work (1998), Sullivan presents an album of the prominent ships and men who fought on both sides, matched to an engrossing account of the war's progress: at sea, on the Mississippi, and along the South's well-defended coastline. In his view, the issue never was in doubt, for though the Confederacy fought back with innovative ironclads, sleek blockade runners, well-armed commerce raiders, and sturdy fortifications, from the earliest stages the North was able to seal off, and then take, one major southern port after another. The photos, many of which were made from fragile glass plates whose survival seems near-miraculous, are drawn from private as well as public collections, and some have never been published before. There aren't any action shots, since mid-19th-century photography required very long exposure times, but the author compensates with contemporary prints, plus crisp battle accounts, lucid strategic overviews, and descriptions of the technological developments that, by war's end, gave this country a world-class navy. He also profiles the careers of Matthew Brady and several less well-known photographers, adding another level of interest to a multi-stranded survey. (source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7613-1553-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Millbrook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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