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Deadly Hardcover – February 22, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The voice, while set firmly in the time, was every bit as relevant and poignant as any other voice in a modernly-set YA novel. Prudence had all the issues of a growing woman, only exacerbated by the era that held her brain hostage. Not only did she have to contend with boys, an absent best friend and standards held to her by her mother and her school's owner, Prudence was fighting the tide of female empowerment. She wanted to be a doctor. She held more interest in germs and how they worked than being a counter girl at a department store and marrying well. Prudence stood out against the backdrop of Victorian New York and she did it subtly.
Prudence's voice wasn't loud and brazen. She was timid, afraid, hesitant. She was trying to function outside the norms of women of her time and she was only a teenager doing it. Her personality reflected that yet she remained strong despite all the nagging coming at her, trying to get her to act "proper."
The far away love she carried for her boss was heartbreaking. When she took a leap of faith, one that could have rightly ended her career, she had all the normal doubts and regrets of doing it yet she soldiered on. She didn't cave and bury herself far away from him. She faced him and continued doing what she loved.Read more ›
Soon after starting her and Mr. Soper start investigating a new outbreak of Typhoid. They visit the different families who have the dreaded disease and write down all of the different foods they have eaten and take samples from their septic systems. Soon Prudence finds a food that links all of the families, peach ice cream. It turns out that they all have a cook who has worked for all of them, who made the peach ice cream for them.
It was recently discovered by a scientist that disease could be carried by a healthy person. The person doesn't get sick but can pass the illness on to others.
"The challenge ahead of us is to find this elusive cook and test her for the typhoid germ by examining her body fluids."
The cook, Mary Mallon has moved around a lot but Prudence and Mr. Soper finally tracks her down. She refuses to get tested, she can't understand how she could make people sick when she, herself is not sick.
Mary Mallon was a real person who was to become known as Typhoid Mary. Julie Chibbaro takes a piece of history and runs with it. She developed her main character Prudence well and we see her learn and grow. As I read the story I kept thinking to myself, "you go girl, show people that not all women should be chained to a house with no other aspirations."
Deadly is geared for young adults. It deals with issues of disease, feminism, and family. It also explores ethical issues. I think it would make for great discussion for a young adult book club. Though there is science in the book, it is well explained in fairly simple terms. I highly recommend it!
If that weren't enough to bring me along for the ride, there's also the question of friendships as we grow up, the sacrifices inherent in following dreams, the necessity for balance in life, unrequited love, unwanted advances, and no 'evil' characters.
I really loved Prudence and her cold, analytical curiosity. She became, somewhat ironically, the point of compassion with regard to Mary Mallon, Typhoid Mary of the early 1900s. Like the author, I always envisioned Mary Mallon as a dirty, lazy cook who spread disease through negligence. To learn that she was, in her own right, extraordinary and pretty starched was startling. I guess I, too, don't understand what it is to be a healthy carrier of a deadly disease.
The ending is open-ended (more for Prudence than Mary, as the author's note addresses what became of poor Mary). But I tend to favor that, especially considering the protagonist is at the beginning her adulthood, and what promises to be an amazing journey as one of America's first female research scientists.
In all, I recommend this for fans of historical fiction, science in the early 1900s, young adult novels, analytical female protagonists, and the kind of diversity that doesn't seem like an afterthought for popularity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gorgeously written, full of yearning and hope. Chibbaro manages to capture this long-ago time but imbue it with the urgency of a contemporary medical thriller. Read morePublished 3 months ago by GS
This month for my book project I chose to read the book Deadly by Julie Chibbaro. This book is jam packed with many amazing elements. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Catkins
Great book except it is diary format do its not quite 5 stars.Published 19 months ago by Adren C Jacobs
It was great!l loved it it was a great book!l really really really loved this awesome wonderful book a lot!Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customercoco
I would recommend this book to everybody who wants to read it. I personally loved this book, the author did an amazing job telling the story.Published 23 months ago by dave-cindy
I love this book and it was entertaining and fascinating from the very beginning. It is a summer reading book and I can wait to see what the students think of it. Read morePublished on June 29, 2014 by Robyn
Really, really good! Teens will relate to this not only for a story well told but because the author knows and respects what goes through a teen's head when it comes to angst, joy,... Read morePublished on February 8, 2014 by Bobselah Myndle
I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, but I loved it! The reason? Because I fell in love with the main character, Prudence. Read morePublished on January 22, 2014 by CC Thomas
I enjoyed this book, but I am probably too fascinated with plagues and germs. I had taken a class last year where we studied Typhoid Mary briefly. Read morePublished on May 20, 2013 by deesboots