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Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by…

Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary

by Gail Jarrow

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937129,846 (4.14)1



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I ordered this book for our library at school because it is a subject that I find very interesting, Typhoid Mary. Yes, I learned about the wake of destruction left by Mary, but the reader also is introduced to the scientists who tracked her down and provided valuable information to the public regarding typhoid fever. I highly recommend it. I honestly couldn't put it down. I especially loved the photographs of those involved, scenes from the time period, and source documents.
I can easily see using this book in a English, science, or social studies classes. I plan to order more for my own middle school English classes. It definitely have a place in our library. ( )
  saolson | Jan 18, 2016 |
RGG: Clear, concise, gross, and scary! Time period intersects Hoose's Bird Book. An easier read than Jim Murphy's An American Plague. Reading Interest: 12-14.
  rgruberexcel | Oct 28, 2015 |
RGG: Clear, concise, gross, and scary! Time period intersects Hoose's Bird Book. An easier read than Jim Murphy's An American Plague. Reading Interest: 12-14.
  rgruberexcel | Oct 28, 2015 |
Good nonfiction that will grab readers and not let them go often does so from the first paragraph: “Early on a damp March morning in 1907, Mary Mallon answered the knock at the servants’ entrance of a New York brownstone house. She took one look at the visitors and lunged at them with her sharp fork. As they flinched, she ran toward the kitchen.” (p. 1) I dare you to put down a book that starts that way. Don’t you have to know why Mary Mallon is attacking visitors arriving at the servants’ entrance? Don’t you have to find out who she is and why this is happening? Grippingly told, with all the attributes of good storytelling, Jarrow never falters with the facts as she traces the path of the woman who came to be known as Typhoid Mary. While there is lots of information about the disease itself and the havoc its path wreaked on its victims, there is also the sense of mystery. The medical world ostensibly had a mystery on its hands. George Soper, whose own tragic past of losing his father to tuberculosis, had triggered his desire to be a part of eliminating deadly diseases and a career in engineering was his path to do this: Studying sanitation, he traced connections that built his reputation as “an epidemic fighter.” Ultimately, his trail led to tracking down Mary Mallon. So what about Mary, you wonder? Why did she have this horrific reaction to being tracked down? SPOILER ALER: While she harbored the cells, she had never been sick. If she’d never contracted the disease, she argued, how could she be responsible for so many deaths? A trial ensued and with it the fate of Mary Mallon. ( )
  pataustin | Oct 14, 2015 |
One of the most fascinating and infamous women of her time, Mary Mallon a.k.a. Typhoid Mary spread typhoid fever wherever she went, unknowingly contaminating the food she prepared as a hired cook. Fatal Fever excellently explains the atmosphere of urban widespread disease that could lead a frantic public health department to making an example of one woman. Readers need no prior knowledge of the disease as Jarrow thoroughly describes the symptoms and transmission methods of typhoid, showing readers how famous public health workers such as George Soper would systematically inspect waterways of towns with outbreaks, finding the source of the disease and curbing it. Reading about contaminated groundwater has never been so fascinating. Primary sources such as photographs, journal entries, and media images work well to further understanding of the major concepts presented and provide visual context to Mary Mallon’s world. Fatal Fever’s asides and chapter introductions have a red, yellow, and black sensationalist-styled layout, which isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing but is appropriate for the subject manner at hand. Jarrow’s work fantastically combines historical fact with scientific public health theory and an empathetic biography of a complicated woman, dangerous but perhaps wronged by the world around her. Readers interested in Typhoid Mary, the early twentieth century, or gross diseases will be riveted to Fatal Fever. Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary is very highly recommended for ages ten to fourteen. ( )
  Jessie_Bear | Oct 6, 2015 |
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Chronicles the story of the early 1900s typhoid fever epidemic in New York, providing details as to how its infamous carrier was ultimately tracked down and stopped.

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