|June Almeida, virus detective! : the woman who discovered the first human coronavirus|
Author: Slade, Suzanne
Scientist June Almeida's skill in using the electron microscope helped identify viruses, and when she was 34 years old, she discovered the first human coronavirus.
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Kirkus Reviews (01/01/21)
School Library Journal (04/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2021 Gr 1–4—This narrative biography examines the life of June Almeida (1930–2007), the Scottish virologist who discovered the first human coronavirus. When she was 10, her younger brother Harry became ill and died. As she grew older, Almeida kept memories of Harry close to her heart and dreamed of studying science at a university. However, her family's financial situation required her to leave school at 16 and find a job. She found employment at a nearby hospital, where she worked in the lab and learned how to use a microscope to study cells from sick people. A lifelong photographer, Almeida was able to utilize her technical skills with the powerful electron microscope, which captured the first images of a new virus. Almeida and doctors described the virus as resembling a crown; they named it coronavirus, after the Latin word corona. Slade adeptly documents the personal and professional journey of this lesser-known scientist. Almeida is depicted as focused, driven, and passionate. A bibliography, time line, photographs of Almeida, and additional information are included in the back matter. An author's acknowledgment precedes the main text, which details Slade's correspondence with Almeida's daughter to ensure the accuracy of the work. VERDICT A relevant and timely addition to most biography collections.—Jamie Jensen, Wayne Cox Elem. Sch., Roanoke, TX - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2021 As a little girl in Scotland, June Almeida loved school, especially science classes, but her cozy family life was upended when her little brother died. “Sadness swallowed the family like a deep, dark hole,” leaving Almeida with the desire to help others beat illnesses. Though her family had no money for college, Almeida built on her high-school science and love of photography to develop images that helped distinguish between cells and viruses and, eventually, discovered the first coronavirus. As well as describing an accomplished woman scientist, Slade (Swish!, 2020) notes when her subject got married, had a baby, and divorced, showing readers that scientists can have families and be successful. The book also offers valuable details about electron microscopes and viruses, including, in a detailed afterword, information about the one that causes COVID-19. Upbeat blue, green, and sepia-toned illustrations of Almeida’s life and work nicely complement the narrative. Some facts are left undeveloped, such as when Slade mentions that Almeida’s work helped doctors but doesn't elaborate on how, but this is still a worthy addition to biography shelves. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.