|Shot in the arm! (Big Ideas That Changed The World)|
Author: Brown, Don
The history of vaccinations and the struggle to protect people from infectious disease, from smallpox to COVID-19. Taking a unique perspective, the book is narrated by Englishwoman Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who popularized inoculation in England after encountering it in Turkey as wife of an English diplomat. Traces the evolution of vaccines and examines deadly diseases such as measles, polio, anthrax, rabies, cholera, and influenza. In graphic novel format.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/01/21)
School Library Journal (+) (03/01/21)
Booklist (+) (02/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/21)
The Hornbook (00/05/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2021 *Starred Review* Brown could be considered the format’s premiere historian for young readers; his exhaustive research is always coupled with an understanding of human motivation and an inviting, unostentatious visual style, all while connecting the past to the world we live in now. It’s never been more urgent than in his latest, which is nearly a direct sequel to his previous Fever Year (2019). He begins his look at the development of vaccines with the origin of smallpox (smallpox scars were found on the mummified remains of an Egyptian pharaoh!) and the disease’s terrifying effects through the early eighteenth century, when our charming narrator, Mary Wortley Montagu, brought the idea of inoculations from the Ottoman Empire and popularized it in England. While tracing the work of several scientists (and cows!), Brown explicates the development of vaccines for the likes of anthrax, rabies, and polio and brings readers right back around to the eradication of smallpox. He includes stops along the way to look at the social resistance to vaccinations and the occasional but deadly missteps. And we end right now, with a note of hope for our current struggle against COVID-19. Simple visual flourishes, like a page full of graves to illustrate a death toll, have real impact, and copious back matter, including a time line, bibliography, and index, make for another insightful, erudite, and engaging work. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2021 Gr 5 Up—Brown lays out the history of vaccinations in this relevant addition to the "Big Ideas That Changed the World" series. Narrator Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, an early Western champion of inoculation, marches readers through the history of smallpox, a highly contagious disease that claimed millions of lives all over the world, leaving survivors disfigured and blind. Born in 1689, Lady Mary had her own children inoculated, having learned of the practice from her time in the Ottoman Empire. When Princess Caroline of Wales discovered it, she commissioned an experiment on prisoners before having her own children safeguarded. This kicked off not only the normalization of inoculation in the Western world but also the critical research that led to safer methods of disease prevention, such as vaccinating people with the less deadly cowpox. Brown travels through time, covering the effective eradication of polio before arriving finally at the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout, he emphasizes there were always those who did not trust scientists and doctors. The U.S. Supreme Court even ruled in the 1880s that Cambridge, MA, had "the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members" by making smallpox vaccination mandatory. The blue and sepia tones add a nostalgic wash to the clean, clear layouts. Brown's decisive tone is at times firm, often playful, and never condescending. VERDICT Shedding light on a topic that's all too timely, this thorough chronicle of vaccination is essential for all libraries.—Abby Bussen, Muskego P.L., WI - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.