Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Renewal

Re-visiting Our New Year’s Resolutions

May is right around the corner and I think it is a great time to take out your list of New Year’s resolutions and see how you are doing.  Now if I were in charge of these resolutions, I would have made it very easy for you.  One simple resolution: read more nonfiction.  You can start today!  It is never too late to update a resolution list.  Spring is a great time for action – tax season is over for most of us so why not celebrate with some great nonfiction? 

Set aside your favorite fiction and just pick up some great nonfiction.  Don’t worry; your fiction will still be there.  I know – I do this all the time.  Why do this?  Reading nonfiction adds a balance and experience to your life that you will appreciate.  I hear some exasperation right now, but seriously – don’t you want to know what really happened? Or learn how to follow directions? Or what foods can provide better nutrition? (Blueberries of course!) One mystery solved and millions more to go.

Guess What? Reading nonfiction doesn’t always need to be a book.  The Internet is full of ripe and ready articles to satisfy any reading taste you might have. 

My recommendation today is about a medical mystery that caused many deaths until a group of dedicated professionals solved it. 

 Red Madness:                                                         

How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat

By Gail Jarrow Calkins Creek/Boyds Mill Press, April 1, 2014

It just hit the book stores this month.  I picked up the ARC of this book at ALA Mid-Winter in Philly and fell asleep reading it every night during the conference trying to read as fast as I could.  The pacing, the intrigue, the idea that we had this mystery illness killing children and adults in the early part of the 20th Century.  Why?  I won’t give away what the cause of this illness was.  What I will say is the use of photos to convey the gruesome symptoms and death of so many was just heartbreaking, but it was very compelling to read on to find out why it happened and then how it was solved. A perfect example of cause and effect reading experience. 

The narrative text layout with font changes to cue the reader to the local vignettes describing the many tragedies is riveting.  Source notes, author comments and all the text features put together a compiling story.   Recommended Ages 10 and up.  Starred Review from Kirkus – well deserved.

1 comment:

  1. I am also reading RED MADNESS. What I love about it is the tension. As I read, I am eager for the researchers to find a cure. So it's a history mystery. Terrific! It opens up lots of avenues for thoughtful writing and discussion. I will be sorry to finish this book.