I first heard about this book in the Shelf Awareness email newsletter about a giveaway of a signed copy by the author. So I emailed and entered. I hadn't heard any news of when they were drawing a winner, and I had to turn my Nook back into the store on Saturday, so when I saw the book was already on the shelves at my store, I checked it out. I really, really enjoyed this book. I actually even intend to recommend it to our Missouri Association of School Librarian's readers awards committees.
This book is about Typhoid Mary. Yes, it is told in story format, but in a really good way. The main character is Prudence. She is Mrs. Browning's school for girls to learn the skills that will hopefully win her a better life some day. But Prudence isi more interested in science, something her mother and father both encouraged her in when she was younger. And she really became interested when her brother was in an accident and his injuries got sores and he died. They allow the girls to take afternoon jobs. Prudence finds a job working with the Sanitation department trying to solve the recent typhoid outbreak.
Their research leads them to a common woman in all the cases, who after they test her and find she has the virus, but has never been sick, the papers soon dub her Typhoid Mary.
As a science teacher, I could totally see this being a book that you could base a whole integrated unit on, I see the science, social studies, and CA parts, and I'm sure there are many ways to bring math in as well. You've got all the history of the time as we learn about how things were for people back then, how women were just starting to be accepted as doctors, the wars of the time, etc. The science with disease and the human body is all stuff I studied this year with my students. Obviously the book could be read in CA, and math could maybe do the figuring of how the disease spread, etc. I wish we still had time to do these things in school, I'd totally recommend it. Instead, we are now into mastery learning and common assessments, instead of making kids understand that all the things they learn relate in some way and all are important and can be fun. Okay, off my education soapbox.
This was a great book! I will probably also make it one of my staff recommendations at the bookstore.