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Pandemic Survival Hardcover – 26 Sep 2013

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great YA Non-fiction! 27 Aug. 2013
By LibStaff2 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This children's/young adult non-fiction book is entertaining, informative, and interesting. It's well-written for the intended audience. The introduction includes some general prevention tactics and a large part of the book details the history of pandemics. These sections are broken into different time periods with quirky facts throughout. A good read for adults too. A perfect selection for libraries, schools, and any reader interested in the subject.

LT Early Reviewer
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating--sometimes eerie 14 Sept. 2013
By SeussFan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Why would a kid want to read a book like this, with a big red cover and two skulls illustrated on the front? Precisely because it has two skulls on the front and promises to offer up some factoids that will gross out your friends and horrify grownups. The astute child will also figure out that there is a fair bit of science and history wound up in humankind's struggle with pandemics.

Authors Love and Drake have put together a remarkably detailed and engaging account of different pandemics here. A reader can find here the story of the major illnesses that have plagued the populace: leprosy, black death, bubonic plague, smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, tuberculosis, Spanish flu, polio, and AIDs. It makes a person glad to live in these times. Though we haven't conquered all these diseases, sanitation and medication have gone a long way towards reducing the number of people who suffer from these horrific diseases.

The book also covers some lesser-known illnesses such as the English Sweat and a strange disease which led people to "dance."

Though I've read a fair amount of fiction set during the plague years, I still ran across things I hadn't known before, and which added context and a deeper historical understanding. Who knew that Mongolian marmots first carried The Black Death? Mongolians wisely steered clear of a dying colony. The Chinese skinned them and sold the furs, spreading the disease to the rest of Eurasia. And now I know that black cats were considered unlucky because they came from the East, where the plague originated.

The book also chronicles the slow, halting steps people took towards understanding what caused these pandemics and how they spread. I almost wanted to pound my head in desperation at the resistance to new ideas like germ theory and handwashing. It's a lesson we can take in the current world, as the medical establishment can still be resistant to ideas that don't fit an established paradigm.

The books is designed for kid appeal with cartoon-like color illustrations and lots of sidebars and personal examples that break up the text.

It also apparently has the purpose of being sort of a health education book , with a section of lifestyle choices such as smoking, eating disorders (is that a "lifestyle choice"?) and exposure to the sun. I'm not sure the consequences of these choices are usually what we think of as pandemics, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

All in all, this book has lively writing and interesting examples which will fascinate the child who is interested in the spooky, dramatic aspects of life as well as providing lots of facts and examples for the student who is writing a report on disease and health.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a look at the plauges, viruses and bugs that have tried to kill us throughout the ages. 11 Sept. 2013
By Kellswitch - Published on
Format: Hardcover
An overall entertaining and educational book about the various viruses, epidemics and plagues that have descended upon the human race throughout history.

Considering that this book is aimed at younger readers I felt that they handled the serious and sometimes frightening aspects of this topic with dignity and respect without being overwhelming and kept a good balance between the inherent darkness of the material and not sugar coating it to make it "safer" for younger readers.

There are dozens of illustrations scattered throughout the book, the art is well done and they are fun and helped to both break up the heaviness of the material and support the information being given

They do deal with some controversial topics such as HIV, AIDS, biological warfare and the anti-vaccination crowd. By my standards they handled these topics very well and would make a good starting point for conversation but I would recommend parents/adults take these topics into consideration and be ready for them before allowing their child to read this book.

Even thought the stated age is 9 and older I would still recommend considering the personality and tolerance level of the child in question before having them read this as it does deal rather directly with death and suffering and each child has their own limit and I would strongly suggest reading it first so you can be prepared for the questions or concerns that will be forthcoming.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good Overview 5 Oct. 2013
By prepper10 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Why only 4 stars? This is definitely for older children and even adults--not younger kids. That's because of the complexity of the language and the subject matter. Also, while this is a "children's book," the lack of documentation and references to primary sources is irritating and somewhat suspicious. The illustrations are lively, but not inspired. They seem a bit too predictably subordinate to the text.

Overall, the work is well written and interesting. It's full of information that couldn't be more important in an age when young adults often don't bother to even wash their hands, let alone stay home when they're sick, get a flu shot, or even cover their coughs. We're facing an antibiotic apocalypse, thanks to the way they are overused in animals, and we're due for H5N1, H7N9, some coronavirus, or "God knows what" to spread globally before politicians and incompetent governments can do squat. Are you ready to quarantine yourself and your entire family in your house for SIX MONTHS until a vaccine of questionable effectiveness is available? What about when the workers at the power company, water treatment plant, and grocery store are doing the same? This is no fantasy, and it pays not to stick your head in the sand. Unfortunately, scientists and journalists are doing a lousy job of educating anyone. This is infinitely superior, for example, to the CDC's own "Zombie Pandemic" graphic novel train wreck.

This book is a good place to start learning, especially if you don't have time for some 400 page tome.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Aussie bookworm Review 2 Oct. 2013
By Aussie bookworm - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a great book and not at all what I was expecting. Pandemic Survival is marketed towards the younger reader with easy to read, and entertaining reading on the history of Pandemics. Most kids would probably not even realise that they are learning while reading this book, with graphic depictions of different pandemics over the centuries, and even facts that I didn't know. This book is not for the Germaphobes like me, once finished this book I went and scrubbed my house lol.

Pandemic Survival really makes you glad about having vaccinations and not being around when vaccinations were just invented. (they would ground up scabs from an infected person and snort them.) there's a fact I bet you didn't know.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn medical history, although this does not read like a textbook, more of a story book focusing on the gross stuff. I loved it and can't wait to read it to my son when he is a bit older.
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