Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America

Gail Jarrow. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $18.95 (200p) ISBN 978-1-62091-738-1
Jarrow concludes her Deadly Diseases trilogy (after Red Madness and Fatal Fever) with a harrowing, in-depth exploration of the reappearance of bubonic plague at the turn of the 20th century. After briefly detailing earlier outbreaks of plague, Jarrow focuses on the Third Pandemic, which began in 1880s China before spreading to India, Hawaii, San Francisco, and beyond. Augmented by archival illustrations and photographs (including some gruesome ones showing the effects of the plague), her gripping narrative balances the clock-racing work of scientists and officials attempting to understand and stop the plague with entwined themes of fear, prejudice, and anger (“San Francisco’s Chinese population had been unlucky enough to live near the harbor where plague entered the city”). Extensively researched, with numerous resources for readers looking to study the topic further. Ages 10–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/23/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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