Invisible Invaders: Dangerous Infectious Diseases

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Part of the "Discovery!" series, Goldsmith takes us into the macabre and intriguing world of infectious diseases. Disease strikes, changing a healthy person: Suddenly she can't move her knees. She's tired. What clues do the doctors have? In this case it was a case of lime disease, a bacteria transmitted by ticks and only discovered in the last twenty years. Epidemiology, the study of how diseases are spread, is at that heart of this book. Goldsmith breaks the book into discussions of types of diseases. She writes a chapter on bacterial, and two on viral diseases, as well as one on parasites and prions. Finally, for those of us who are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the bad news, her last chapter is titled "Diagnosing the future: Good News for the World's Health." Even in the less cheerful parts of the book, Goldsmith's lively writing keeps one moving, examining the diseases and their effect on the human body, instead of reading morosely as a potential victim. Well-done graphics and photos illustrate this book. Back matter includes a glossary, source notes, a selected bibliography, further reading and web sites, and an index. 2006, Twenty-First Century Books/Lerner Publishing, Ages 8 to 12.
—Amy S. Hansen
VOYA - Kevin Beach
This title is part of an appealing new Discovery! series geared toward exciting students about the mysteries of science. Other books focus on forensics, the genome project, and meteorites. Invisible Invaders takes a look at infectious diseases such as bird flu, the latest of many that have been in the news. This book examines the reasons behind the recent dramatic leap in viral and bacterial diseases and identifies the medical and governmental authorities, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), that are battling them. A chapter on bacteria discusses the strains that infect people with tuberculosis, malaria, and more recently AIDS, Lyme disease, and SARS. Viruses also account for deadly diseases; most recently in the news is West Nile. A chapter on these viruses spread by mosquitoes, mice, and monkeys describes the ability of some viruses to be contracted through simply breathing the air. The book also discusses how bioterrorists have deliberately spread anthrax, botulism, and smallpox among others to cause panic and high mortality rates. Of course the topic has a high "gross out factor" which should make it popular with young readers. The explanation of the differences between predators and parasites and symbiotic creatures is informative. A discussion on the history of parasitology makes the book useful for reports. Although these books contain only basic information, they are well organized and quite up to date. The photos in both books are plentiful, colorful, and excellent. The texts are clear, concise, and interesting.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Infectious diseases, which have been around forever, are increasingly in the news as new illnesses and mutations make themselves known. With clear and clever headings ("It's a Small World After All," "Know Your 'Demics," "Glow Germs") and brisk, intelligent writing that never patronizes, Goldsmith describes their history, epidemiology, biology, and modern ramifications. The book provides an overview of the current state of affairs, examines bacterial diseases, and discusses (and vividly illustrates) as much as or more than readers ever wanted to know about mosquito-borne and other carrier-borne viruses. The author also discusses parasitic infections, with their cycles illustrated on a spread, and prions, which are merely protein particles that somehow misfold and cause ghastly brain diseases. The final chapter looks at the eternal war on microbes and challenges for the future. This title is a thorough, understandable, and accessible source of current information and medical definitions, and a trail to further research.-Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822534167
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Series: Discovery! Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.64 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.53 (d)

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