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Secret of the Yellow Death
ISBN: 9780547746241
Author: Jurmain, Suzanne
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: September 2013
Retail: $9.99    OUR PRICE: $1.99
     You Save 80%
Binding Type: Paperback
Annotation: Recounts the history and effects of yellow fever, describes how the disease spreads, and discusses how American and Cuban doctors worked together to discover the source of the infection.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Health & Daily Living | Diseases
- Juvenile Nonfiction | History
Library of Congress Subjects:
Yellow fever; Diagnosis; Cuba; Juvenile literature.
Yellow fever; Juvenile literature.
Yellow fever.
Dewey: 614.5/41097291
LCCN: 2009022499
Lexile Measure: 1010
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Target Grade: 4-6
Grade level: 4-6
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 7.50" L x 0.25" W
Bargain Category: Upper Elementary, Science, Non-Fiction, Middle School, History, High School
Grade level(s): 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring)
In this dramatic medical history, Jurmain documents the efforts of researchers in 1900 Cuba to prove or disprove the "mosquito theory" of yellow fever's transmission--by catching the disease themselves. Above all, it's a thrilling account of the scientific process in action and of how conducting good science can involve personal risk. The succinct chapters are generously illustrated with period photos. Reading list. Bib., glos., ind. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #6)
As did Jim Murphy in An American Plague (rev. 7/03), Suzanne Jurmain shows in this equally dramatic medical history that few diseases are viler than yellow fever. It was a terrifying illness to catch, marked by black vomit, yellow eyes, extreme pain, and a high risk of death. Yet, in 1900 Cuba, catching yellow fever was exactly what a group of doctors tried to do. Jurmain documents researchers' final push to prove or disprove the much-debated "mosquito theory" of the disease's transmission, and the only way for them to do so at the time was to get bitten -- or pay volunteers to get bitten -- and see what happened. Through succinct chapters generously illustrated with period photos, Jurmain relates the steps that the team, led by Dr. Walter Reed, took to eliminate competing theories while compiling evidence against the main suspect. She also lets readers in on the mindsets of the scientists and of the volunteers, both Cuban and American, who were draped in clothing "soiled with the blood, vomit, urine, and feces of yellow fever patients" (to test the "infected clothing" theory of transmission) or locked in rooms with potentially deadly swarms. Above all, Jurmain's book is a thrilling account of the scientific process in action and of how conducting good science can involve personal risk. End matter includes volunteer biographies, a glossary, endnotes, and bibliography. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2009 September)

Gr 6–10—This medical mystery is extremely interesting, easy to read, and well illustrated with period photos. It's the story of Walter Reed and his team of U.S. Army doctors who went to Cuba in 1900 to study yellow fever and determine how it was spread. It was important in light of the United States's involvement in a war with Spain for Cuba's freedom and for future developments in South America. Yellow fever outbreaks, such as the one in Philadelphia in 1793, had long plagued America and her neighbors to the south, but despite advances in bacteriology, no progress had been made in discovering how the disease was spread. Jurmain explains Reed's approach to the scientific problem and how it changed over time as more was learned. The individual doctors and volunteers involved are brought to life by the author's use of primary sources such as letters, reports, etc. How the team eventually discovered and then verified that yellow fever was spread by mosquitoes was a combination of luck, good scientific practices, and careful note keeping. Young people interested in medicine or scientific discovery will find this book engrossing, as will history students. End matter includes short biographical sketches of all the volunteers who took part in the experiments, at great risk to their own lives. Exemplary nonfiction.—Robin Henry, Wakeland High School, Frisco, TX

[Page 182]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.