From School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This medical history begins by describing how the influenza of 1918 spread across the world, infecting 2 billion people and killing 20 to 40 million. Once symptoms began, death could take place within three hours, mostly from lack of oxygen that caused victims to turn purple when their lungs filled with blood due to the virus. The second half of the book is devoted to the efforts of scientists, once the pandemic subsided, to determine its cause. In 1918, no one had a microscope powerful enough to see a virus. Finding a sample of it was a challenge, and in 1951 scientists went to Alaska and Norway where diseased bodies were buried and preserved in permafrost. The author successfully relays the significance this epidemic had upon the world and the importance of continued study to prevent another occurrence. Black-and-white photographs enforce the reality of the crisis and soft, charcoal-pencil drawings capture the somber mood. The format of the book features large, inviting print with lots of white space on quality paper. The painstaking and heroic deeds scientists must take on in order to identify a disease and develop a cure will be interesting to budding scientists.-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-5. Like Virginia Aronson's The Influenza
Pandemic of 1918 [BKL O 15 00], but for a younger audience, this account of the 1918 flu outbreak is like a horror story as well as a factual account of scientific research. "It was the deadliest six months in history. The flu infected nearly 2 billion people, just about everybody on the planet." In discussing what made this flu so deadly, Getz draws on his personal talks with several scientists, and his bibliography lists adult books as well as numerous recent newspaper articles. Without sensationalizing, he writes clearly and dramatically, whether he's describing how vaccines work, how pneumonia was treated before the discovery of antibiotics, or what today's researchers are doing to find the flu virus preserved in the lungs of frozen bodies. There are occasional illustrations by David McCarty, as well as documentary photographs. And always there's the question, What if there's a pandemic today? Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved