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The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547315848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547315843
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-Blood, writes Newquist, "is one of the most fascinating and fabled substances in history." In this compendium, readers will learn about the red fluid's biological function as well as its historical and cultural significance. Several chapters cover its importance in ancient cultures and explain how our knowledge about its role in the body developed over time. Information about early medical practices such as bloodletting (including the use of leeches) will grab students' interest, as will the sections on hematophagous (blood-drinking) animals and vampire legends. The chapters on the physiology of the circulatory system and the components of blood are more readable than those in many textbooks. The conversational tone and the faux blood-spattered pages, replete with sidebars, color photos, archival drawings, and medical illustrations, are sure to pull in readers. Unfortunately, there are no source notes to support blanket statements such as, "Everything you put in your body ends up in your blood," and "Your blood is more responsible for keeping you alive than anything else in your body." This book's content is similar to that in Trudee Romanek's Squirt: The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read About Blood (Kids Can, 2006), although it covers some topics in greater depth and has more of a narrative format.-Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, ORα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"A thorough and humorous exploration of our relationship with blood."—VOYA

"This transfusion of information offers a rewarding experience to readers whether they're after the specific differences between blood types and other biological data or just gore's icky lore."—Kirkus

"Blood-spattered pages play into the subject matter's potential for ickiness, even while Newquist makes it clear that blood is worthy of fascination, not fear."—Publisher's Weekly

"The conversational tone and the faux blood-spattered pages, replete with sidebars, color photos, archival drawings, and medical illustrations, are sure to pull readers in."—School Library Journal

"Newquist's prose is smooth enough that several chapters could actually function as nonfiction readalouds."—Bulletin

More About the Author

HP Newquist is a writer whose books have have received numerous awards and citations. His books and articles have been published all over the world and his writing has been translated into languages from kanji to farsi. His work has been cited by The New York Times, The Economist, USA Today, Forbes, Fortune, the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Newquist's writing spans a vast array of interests . . . from music and medicine to the serious and scary. He has been a columnist for Computerworld, a contributor to Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, the Financial Technology Report, and Music Technology magazine. He was Editor-In-Chief at GUITAR magazine and contributed to a host of other music magazines, including Billboard, Guitar Player, Guitar Shop, InTune, and Musician's Planet. Along the way, he wrote two documentary films--one of which was nominated for an Emmy Award--and created technology entries for Microsoft's Encarta encyclopedia, while writing architecture and travel pieces for The New York Press.

When he's not writing, Newquist is overseeing the creation of The National GUITAR Museum, the first museum dedicated to the world's most popular instrument.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
The photos in the book accompany the words well.
Robert G Yokoyama
Myths and legends about blood and blood drinkers, are covered extensively in this book.
L. Jonsson
The Book of Blood is a book that is interesting to both kids and adults.
V. Canfield

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Mo VINE VOICE on June 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Vampires are pretty popular these days, but what's the cultural and scientific history behind blood? HP Newquist fills the gap with some creative non-fiction about the red stuff we all have sloshing around inside us. The Book of Blood boasts fascinating subject matter, lots of pictures, and an appropriately lurid cover. And the author's name makes me think of HP Lovecraft. (Sadly, Cthulhu is not in The Book of Blood. Lamashtu is, though.) I wanted to love The Book of Blood, but ended up feeling a little tepid about the whole thing.

Targeted for ages 10+, The Book of Blood is broad in scope. It covers the role of blood in ancient mythology and civilizations, developing scientific knowledge about blood, the circulatory system, blood-borne illnesses, real life vampires (mosquitoes, bats, leeches), and even a token chapter on pop culture vampires. (Smells like marketing...) I found the sections on blood diseases and animals with weird blood more interesting than the historical stuff, but at 150 pages with many illustrations, it's a quick and reasonably engaging read. The author has an eye for good trivia -- I'd never heard of the horned lizard that shoots foul-tasting blood out of its eyeballs at predators. Newquist's tone is conversational yet doesn't shy away from vocabulary (oligosaccharides, lymphocytes, sulfhemoglobinemia). He does have an annoying tendency to talk down and point things out as 'gross' or 'icky' after he's just made a good case for how fascinating they are.

I had some other issues with The Book of Blood as well. Newquist includes fairly sophisticated ideas, yet omits some explanations that would have a lot of relevance to young readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Librarian VINE VOICE on August 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm always on the lookout for great non-fiction for my students and staff, and The Book of Blood is a great addition to any elementary or middle grade colleciton. The layout and engaging narrative style hooks elementary and middle grade readers looking for a creep-tastic facts, and the quality of information will satisfy any teacher assigning research. In fact, this title would make a great introductory read for an interdisciplinary unit. I can see kids passing this around and discussing the most icky, interesting, intriguing tidbits. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C.E. VINE VOICE on August 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is perfect, both for my and my 4th grader. I am a nurse, and as such can appreciate cool science books and fun stuff about our bodies, the world we live in, and the neat things we just never knew before. Those same reasons were all of the ones that encouraged my 4th grader to love it too!

I was sitting down on the couch reading the book and flipping pages, alternately scanning and investigating, discovering and learning all at the same time. She snuggled up next to me with a chipper "whatcha readin'?" And from there, I never saw the book again. She comandeered it, sequestered herself on the couch for two days and promptly devoured its contents. She came up for air and told me that she "loved" it and thought it was "very cool...creepy, but cool." Can a book get a better endorsement than that? Aimed directly at her age demographic, this book hits the mark wonderfully. It is full of equal parts squeamish fact and fascinating myth. Through it all, the ruby substance that keeps us oxygenated, nourished, and alive is delved into in great detail. Not only are humans covered, but the animal kingdom is given its due as well.

This is a great book for those out there who are medically, scientificially, or otherwise minded. Great for the middle readers who are blossoming in the sciences and those who have knowlege as well. I liked the book and hope that there are more in this type of series. Great stuff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By crazyoaks VINE VOICE on August 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If I still had a classroom, my kids were still little, or I had grandkids this book would be well read. This book has chapters about the components of blood, how the body makes blood, the organs blood goes to in the body and what it does for the body, then it discusses ancient civilizations, Biblical, Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian and how they perceived blood, animals with different colors of blood than red blood, and finally creatures who drink blood, mosquitos, leaches, bats and vampires. There is a history of how human-kind treated blood issues from the earliest history to today. It ends with a chapter about blood transfusions. These are not cursory chapters that simply introduce a subject. They explain and give details about each subject.

This book has chapters, small sidebar sections within each chapter, and illustrations. It is a book for stronger readers because of the reading level, but struggling readers might stay with the book because of the subject. This book is just the kind of reading that will help prepare readers for standards testing, interesting subject with great vocabulary words. If you have a child who is interested in scientific kinds of things or health then they would certainly be interested in this book.

I received an advance reader's copy of this book and so some of the illustrations and titles on the sidebars were to come later. The Illustrations were all in black and white. I hope that the actual book will have some color illustrations because color would make it more interesting. There is information in this book that anyone can find something new to learn about blood.
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