Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease
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.
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.
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