for Fatal Fever
by Gail Jarrow
Sanitary engineer and chemist George Soper was a “germ detective” in the early 20th century. Soper was hired in 1906 by the Thompson family of New York City when six family members fell ill with typhoid. Through a meticulous process of elimination, Soper determined that a cook, Mary Mallon, was the most likely source of the bacteria. When public heath doctor Sara Josephine Baker tracked down Mary Mallon, a.k.a. Typhoid Mary, Mallon refused to believe she carried typhoid. Mallon’s case became a civil rights issue when she was quarantined against her will on Brother’s Island off the coast of Manhattan. Mallon was eventually released when she promised not to work as a cook again, only to be returned to the island after another typhoid outbreak was traced to her. She lived there the rest of her life, even as it was acknowledged she was surely far from the only typhoid carrier in the city. Soper’s rigorous methodology, Baker’s doggedness, and Mary Mallon’s unfortunate story illustrate the confluence of science, detective work, and social attitudes during the early decades of the 20th century. This captivating, well-researched volume is augmented by numerous photographs and back matter that includes source notes, a timeline, and bibliography. (Age 12 and older)
CCBC Choices 2016. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016. Used with permission.
Learn about the 1907 outbreak of typhoid fever and "Typhoid Mary" in this book perfect to share with young readers interested in a historical perspective of the Covid-19/Coronavirus pandemic that is gripping the world today.
This engrossing story reveals the facts behind Mary Mallon, a hardworking Irish cook hired by several of New York’s well-to-do families, who ultimately came to be known as "Typhoid Mary". Read how Mary unwittingly spread deadly bacteria, the ways an epidemiologist discovered her trail of infection, and how the health department ultimately decided her fate. Young readers will be on the edges of their seats wondering what happened to Mary and the innocent typhoid victims. The book includes a glossary, timeline, list of well-known typhoid sufferers and victims, further resource section, author's note, and source notes.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.