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The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World

by Tracy Kidder ; adapted by Michael French

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: April 9th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-385-74318-1
Publisher: Delacorte

The story of a doctor’s quest to heal the sick in a poor Haitian community and beyond.

Dr. Paul Farmer is one of those characters the world could use a few more of, which is why it is great to have this book to put in as many young hands as possible. He saw something his conscience simply could not abide—the medical neglect of poor people—and then went and did something about it, setting up a clinic to serve the medical needs of an impoverished Haitian neighborhood. But he is everywhere else as well, from Peru to Russia, a powerhouse for medical good. He has a wonderful way of screwing down on some of the worst behaviors of humanity—how we habituate ourselves to the misery of others, the absurd self-regard of the medical profession—while (mostly) not coming across as churlish or self-righteous. French has done a fine job of adapting Kidder's book for young readers, almost invisibly tinkering with the original storytelling while not dodging any of Farmer’s obsessive characteristics or forceful arguments. The power of the story, of the need to just get things done since there are always resources to tap if the cause is just, pours forth as Kidder intended.

An important story that feels like it breathes a dose of virtuous oxygen right into readers' heads. (Nonfiction. 12-16)