THE BOOK OF BLOOD by H.P. Newquist


From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins
Age Range: 10 - 13
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Newquist expands considerably on the premise that “[t]here is more to blood than that it’s red and kind of gross” without neglecting to keep the “kind of gross” parts in view.

Along with a suitably gore-spattered parade of Aztec and other bloodthirsty gods and blood rituals throughout history, the author takes quick looks at various kinds of blood in the animal kingdom and at vampires in modern pop culture. He also recaps the development of our understanding of blood and the circulatory system from ancient times through the scientific revolution, and thence on to modern uses for blood in medicine and research. In considerably more detail, though, he tallies blood’s individual components and the specific functions of each in keeping our bodies alive and healthy. Aside from a debatable claim that “[e]verything you put in your body ends up in your blood,” this transfusion of information offers a rewarding experience to readers whether they’re after the specific differences between blood types and other biological data or just gore’s icky lore. It's nicely enhanced by a generous array of photographs, microphotographs and artists’ renderings.

A closer focus on biology than bloodshed makes this a natural companion for Tanya Lloyd Kyi’s more anthropological Seeing Red: The True Story of Blood (2012). (bibliography, Web sites) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-547-31584-3
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2012


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