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Children's LiteraturePart 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