Investigating Influenza and Bird Flu: Real Facts for Real Lives

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Amy Sisson
This new "Investigating Diseases" series consists of several books, each of which focuses on a specific health issue relevant to today's world. Individual books delve into topics such as eating disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, depression and bipolar disorder, tuberculosis and superbugs, influenza and bird flu, and diabetes. Each book begins with a 23-26 page chapter, usually labeled as "straight talk," that defines the disease and discusses its symptoms and global distribution. Subsequent chapters are devoted to the disease's history, science, prevention, testing, treatment, effects on everyday life, and outlook for the future. Each title is rounded out with a timeline, chapter notes, glossary, further reading, and an index. Although individual titles are structured and formatted consistently across the series, there is some flexibility in that each book tries to incorporate information in such a way as to be relevant to teens. For instance, Investigating Eating Disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating) makes particular note of popular celebrities who have publicly spoken about their eating disorders, including Janet Jackson, Kelly Clarkson, Princess Diana, and Oprah Winfrey. Similarly, Investigating Influenza and Bird Flu devotes more pages than the other books to the "Outlook for the Future" chapter, which makes perfect sense considering the public's heightened awareness of potential pandemics. It even manages to reference the fact that the Edward Cullen character from the popular Twilight series was dying of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic when he was turned into a vampire. Overall, this series contains useful, well-organized, and current information. The publisher identifies the books as intended for grade levels 9 to 12, and the books do seem appropriate as sources for high school reports, particularly since they list other books, a handful of Web sites, and several relevant organizations in the "For More Information" section. As such, this series is certainly appropriate for high school and public libraries, and would not be out of place in junior high school libraries as well. Reviewer: Amy Sisson
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Leis-Newman
The timely topic of influenza is discussed in depth, making this book an asset for teenagers. The historical perspective on the 1918 influenza pandemic and the U.S. 1976 Swine Flu disaster will be especially helpful for social studies or history teachers interested in having their students compare flu epidemics over time. The six chapters are Straight Talk on Influenza, which gives an overview of flu symptoms and who is susceptible; The History of Influenza, which provides the long view of flu; The Science of Influenza, which gets down to the nitty-gritty of the biology of the flu; Preventing Influenza, including who should get a flu shot; Diagnosis and Treatment of Influenza, which discusses how to distinguish infections versus viruses; Outlook for the Future, which discusses the worldwide public health issues; and Living with Influenza, which discusses threats like MRSA. While the pictures can look cheesy, the colorful design aids in understanding of the topic, and the pictures are big and captioned well. Sections like "Cool Ideas" demonstrate concepts like recreating the 1918 Spanish Flu, which will appeal to budding scientists. The biggest weakness is the chapter discussing the science of the flu, as it becomes a bit bogged down in its discussion of nucleic acid and different types of flu strains. However, this is an excellent research tool for history and biology students. Other elements include a timeline, glossary, chapter notes and index. It is part of the "Investigating Diseases" series from Enslow Publishers. Reviewer: Elizabeth Leis-Newman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780766033412
  • Publisher: Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: Investigating Diseases Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.54 (d)

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