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American Murderer by Gail Jarrow
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American Murderer by Gail Jarrow
Hardcover $24.99
Sep 27, 2022 | ISBN 9781684378159

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  • Sep 27, 2022 | ISBN 9781684378159 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

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  • Sep 27, 2022 | ISBN 9781635928297 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

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Product Details


School Library Journal Best Book
NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book
CCBC Choices 2023
Eureka! Nonfiction Silver Honor Award (California Reading Association)
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book
Evanston (IL) Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2022

★ ”Jarrow’s impeccable research and fascinating details will keep [readers] hooked, especially when they discover that this creature, known as Necator americanus—the American murderer—is a hookworm that once plagued the South…Numerous archival photos place readers in the time period, while a concluding chapter looks at ongoing parasitic-worm dangers across the globe…An engrossing blend of history and STEM.” —Booklist, starred review

“Jarrow continues her ‘Medical Fiascoes’ series with this concise yet fascinating history of hookworm disease in the American South… with her usual flair, Jarrow highlights the science of hookworms, which has plenty of gross appeal to keep ­readers engaged.  An excellent addition for middle and high school students.” —School Library Journal

“Jarrow’s coverage of the biological mystery is well-organized and deftly explained, and she also skillfully handles the social context of a condition that largely affected marginalized populations. Readers who wish to delve deeper into the topic are assisted by a glossary, bibliography and website list, source notes, timeline, index, and author’s note on research.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“The title is a literal translation of the hookworm’s scientific name Necator americanus, but the lurid details don’t stop there as Jarrow goes on to expand…accounts of the creepy creature’s life cycle and the discovery of just how disturbingly prevalent ‘America’s bloodsucking murderer’ was in the South in the 19th and early 20th centuries… [A] searching look at the borders between science and society.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Scientific and societal intersections are…explored in this introspective work, which features straightforward prose and informative sidebars detailing other historical Southern maladies and the scientists who studied them. Photographs, diagrams, and microscopic slides are included throughout; a timeline, glossary, and additional information conclude.” —Publishers Weekly

“Jarrow…who has carved out a niche for herself in the history of science and medicine, here adeptly weaves solid research, primary-source quotes, and historical artifacts with elements of mystery for a compelling read.” —The Horn Book


YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction FINALIST

ALSC Notable Children’s Books AWARD

California Reading Association Eureka! Silver Honor Book AWARD

Chicago Public Library Best Books AWARD

NSTA-CBC – Outstanding Science Trade Book AWARD

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year AWARD

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