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Blood and Germs — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
~ Winston Churchill ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Derek Haines at Just Publishing Advice has a terrific post HERE that will help you Improve your Writing with These 10 Quick and Easy Tips. I particularly like #3.

This is a problem that doesn’t crop up too often, but it does crop up. I actually have a PoV character in one of my novels who becomes unconscious. Louise Harnby has a post HERE that covers 5 Ways to Unveil Action an Unconscious Viewpoint Character.

Writers know they need to be aware of the genre in which they write, but how many of us think about the sub-genre of our writing? HERE is an article from Writer’s Digest with 114 Sub-Genre Descriptions for Writers. Yup. 114! Enjoy.

It’s good to be back at it this week, although I am actually not all the way back. I don’t know what hit me, but I was so sick that I couldn’t read for five days. I couldn’t read! I don’t think I have ever gone five days without reading since I learned how. And I didn’t even read any of your blogs. I apologize for that. I didn’t read anything. That was some wicked, wicked bug. But here we are and the world keeps marching along. People are getting their shots (thank you, Uncle Joe!!!) and stores and restaurants and movie theatres are starting to open up and maybe, just maybe, we are going to get back to normal one of these days soon. Now, if we can just protect people’s right to vote. There’s always something.

When last we met, I promised a gently-read ARC of While I was Away by Waka T. Brown to one of you. The winner this time is Nancy. Congratulations, Nancy! I will be getting your book out to you as soon as I can get to the post office. Thanks for sharing my link. I appreciate it and it seems to have brought you luck.

I don’t know how this book fell off my radar. I should have posted my review months ago, but I didn’t. So today is as good a day to do it as I have. Gail Jarrow is a favorite author of mine. All her books are well worth the time to track down, and this one is no exception. Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease is a spectacular book. Anyone of any age who has an interest in history, science, the Civil War, or just great storytelling will love this wonderful book. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.

The American Civil War was responsible for between 600,000 and 750,000 deaths, or approximately 2% of the total US population. But the really stunning thing about it is that perhaps as many as two-thirds of those deaths did not result from war wounds but from diseases such as smallpox, measles, pneumonia, diarrhea, tuberculosis, and more.

Gail Jarrow

As with all of Gail Jarrow’s wonderful books, this one is a terrific combination of science and history. This is a real eye-opener for the middle-grade set, who may think of war as some glorious undertaking. Neither army was prepared for the level of injury and disease they faced, and without the tools of modern medicine or even a basic understanding of hygiene, they really had no chance to overcome what they faced and save the lives of those fighting.

Jarrow’s storytelling techniques, beautiful writing, and impeccable research will draw in young readers and teach them a great deal without them ever realizing they’re learning. She has populated every spread with period photographs and illustrations that help to tell the story and keep youngsters engaged. This is the best Civil War book this reviewer has ever seen for this age group. Don’t miss it.

I have no giveaway this week since I will donate the nice hardback copy I got to the school. Don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

18 thoughts on “Blood and Germs — Review”

  1. Again, you bring us a book I would find fascinating. I love history, science, the Civil War AND great storytelling. Still, I’m delighted that your granddaughter’s school will share this with lots of young people.

    Besides which, it sounds like I’m a winner!!! I can’t wait to read this wonderful book. I’ll share this, as always, on Twitter and Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 114 sub genres! I must check that out.
    The books sounds like a fabulous resource for historical fiction writer and the curious of yuk.
    Glad you ate feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like a fascinating read! I appreciated your review! I knew that disease and poor hygiene were prevalent during the Civil War, but I hadn’t really taken the time to really think about how most of the losses were due to disease.

    Glad you are feeling better and back to your self! Yes, I have both my COVID shots, and feel a relief now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve read several of Gail’s books but not this one. It has all the elements I enjoy in historical nonfiction. The Civil War is always a sought after topic in history classes and the focus on disease is a good one especially in our present day. I’ve recommended this for our school’s library.
    Thanks for the links. I’m still shaking my head at 114 sub-genres. Gave me a few story ideas! I hope you keep progressing toward feeling well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better—it does sound like you really got the short end of the stick when it comes to stomach bugs! This book sounds excellent—I’ll be counting my lucky stars that I didn’t have to go to war in the 1800s when there was basically no medical care. I love the meme and quote, as well as the article on an unconscious POV character—I feel like that may come up in more books than it might seem! Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, Rosi, I’m glad you are better. I was so sorry to read of your illness. It sounded just awful. We are so hyped about the Corona Virus, it’s easy to forget there are other germs, too. Blood and Germs sounds like a good book for any school or class library. I learned a lot just from your review.

    Liked by 1 person

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