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Pandemic Survival: It's Why You're Alive

By Katherine Keller on September 4, 2015 10:47 AM | Permalink

Ann Love and Jane Drake

Tundra Books, 2013. 122 pages.

Middle School: 7-8
Juvenile Non-Fiction: RA653.5 .L68 2013

Drake and Love take us from the dawn of recorded history through the present date.  On this journey we learn that pandemic disease is a horrible scourge that has caused immense suffering, countless deaths, and in some cases, radically altered the course of history. That said, the ability of our ancestors' immune systems to overcome these diseases, plus the knowledge about germs, sanitation, and good public health practices that we've learned over the course of history are the reasons that we are alive today and are partly why this is an age of unprecedented prosperity.

As a science-hungry middle schooler, I would've eaten this book up!  Bill Slavin's illustrations help bring the past alive -- and hilariously so --  while writers (and sisters) Love and Drake have a real talent for clear, direct, and interesting explanations.  The information in Pandemic Survival is presented in an age appropriate and engaging way, but it doesn't talk down or make things too cutesy, making it a good fit for budding scientists, or for students who have to do a research paper on topics such as the Black Death.

Pandemic Survival is squarely aimed at the curious middle schooler who is the scientist, historian, or medical professional of tomorrow.  It's also a great asset to any teacher of history or science.


Katherine Keller - CML Evening & Weekend Supervisor