The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs

Gail Jarrow. Calkins Creek, $18.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-62979-438-9
A provocative chapter title “Embalmed Bees and Other Delicacies” opens this riveting chronicle from Jarrow (Spooked!) of the life of Harvey Wiley, the “Father of the Pure Food Law,” and the often gruesome events leading to the creation of America’s Food and Drug Administration. In gripping, relatable language, Jarrow follows Wiley’s rise from Indiana farm boy to head of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Chemistry and, finally, director of Good Housekeeping magazine’s Bureau of Food, Sanitation, and Health. Sample advertisements, archival photographs, and political cartoons enhance the text, and a timeline, glossary, and sidebars—such as “How a Bill Becomes Law: The Basics”—further equip readers to navigate the science and politics involved in Wiley’s lifelong fight to protect the public from adulterated food, quack medicines, and fraudulent claims. Historical headlines, such as “Human Test-Tubes. Wiley, Government Chemist, Continues His Work,” bring to life the enormity of Wiley’s controversial methods in the eyes of the public. The “More to Explore” section makes this easy-to-read work a fine classroom resource and an excellent addition to any collection. Ages 10–17. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/11/2019
Release date: 10/15/2019
Genre: Children's
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