A slim volume about a small protagonist.
Narrated by Jennifer the “disease detective,” this roll call of germs makes for fascinating reading. Readers can dip in anywhere and be glad they’re only reading and not actually coming into contact with parasites, influenza, rabies, Ebola and malaria. The book introduces readers to the microbial world and discusses its study before going on to describe broad classifications and then home in on some marquee specifics. Sanitation, antibiotics—and the unexpected consequences of their overuse—genetics, and public-health careers and interventions round out the surprisingly complete coverage of the topic. Gardy and Holinaty have a good sense of the ideal delivery for a middle-grade audience: No one would want to be in the path of the “super sneeze” and the “speedy snot” depicted in one joyfully gross cartoon. Full of colorful illustrations, graphs and charts, the volume covers much ground, not only describing germs, but discussing the science behind them as well. The combination of clear, matter-of-fact text and lively design makes this a slender study that’s big on information.
Infectious. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)