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Deadly Paperback – Feb 21 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (Feb. 21 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068985739X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689857393
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,068,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

"There's plenty to think about and discuss in this diary-format novel based on the notorious case of Mary Mallon, also known as "Typhoid Mary." It's 1906 and 16-year-old Prudence is in her final year at a school for girls... but, unlike most of her classmates, Prudence isn't interested in being an ornamental "Gibson Girl." Instead, she craves a job where she can actually make a difference. She's always been scientifically curious, particularly regarding the nature of infection and disease.... When she lands a position as assistant to an epidemiologist working for the Department of Health and Sanitation, she quits school completely to help investigate the microbial mystery of Mary Mallon, an immigrant cook and suspected "healthy carrier" of typhus, who adamantly denies she's been unwittingly infecting a series of employers' families and instead insists she's the victim of anti-Irish discrimination. A deeply personal coming-of-age story set in an era of tumultuous social change, this is top-notch historical fiction that highlights the struggle between rational science and popular opinion as shaped by a sensational, reactionary press."

About the Author

Julie Chibbaro is also the author of Redemption, which won a 2005 American Book Award. She teaches fiction and creative writing in New York City. You can visit her at JulieChibarro.com.

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Format: Hardcover
It is 1906, New York City and 16 year old Prudence Galewski takes a job as an assistant to the Head Epidemiologist, Mr. Soper. Prudence has always been interested in science and feels very fortunate to land a job in the field. It is practically unheard of for a woman to get such a job. In fact, some of the men in the lab give her a hard time.

Soon after starting her and Mr. Soper start investigating a new outbreak of Typhoid. They visit the different families who have the dreaded disease and write down all of the different foods they have eaten and take samples from their septic systems. Soon Prudence finds a food that links all of the families, peach ice cream. It turns out that they all have a cook who has worked for all of them, who made the peach ice cream for them.

It was recently discovered by a scientist that disease could be carried by a healthy person. The person doesn't get sick but can pass the illness on to others.

"The challenge ahead of us is to find this elusive cook and test her for the typhoid germ by examining her body fluids."

The cook, Mary Mallon has moved around a lot but Prudence and Mr. Soper finally tracks her down. She refuses to get tested, she can't understand how she could make people sick when she, herself is not sick.
Mary Mallon was a real person who was to become known as Typhoid Mary. Julie Chibbaro takes a piece of history and runs with it. She developed her main character Prudence well and we see her learn and grow. As I read the story I kept thinking to myself, "you go girl, show people that not all women should be chained to a house with no other aspirations."

Deadly is geared for young adults. It deals with issues of disease, feminism, and family. It also explores ethical issues. I think it would make for great discussion for a young adult book club. Though there is science in the book, it is well explained in fairly simple terms. I highly recommend it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Chilling Historical Fiction Feb. 18 2011
By Sandra K. Stiles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The case of Typhoid Mary was something I grew up believing was just a myth, until I started this book. About half way through the book I found I had to stop and do some research of my own. Chibarro's facts are very authentic. My research into this person did not diminish my love of this book at all. She addressed several issues of the time. She mentioned the suffragettes and the role women played during that time. The fact that the main character Prudence Galewski is not like the other girls sets this up perfectly. Where other young ladies are looking at getting typing jobs, finding the right man and presenting him with lots of children, Prudence wants to find out what causes diseases and how to prevent them. There was a lot to learn about the beginning of the medical studies into bacteria. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a book I couldn't stop reading once I started. I will definitely recommend it to everyone I know.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great YA Historical Fiction! May 13 2011
By Teddy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It is 1906, New York City and 16 year old Prudence Galewski takes a job as an assistant to the Head Epidemiologist, Mr. Soper. Prudence has always been interested in science and feels very fortunate to land a job in the field. It is practically unheard of for a woman to get such a job. In fact, some of the men in the lab give her a hard time.

Soon after starting her and Mr. Soper start investigating a new outbreak of Typhoid. They visit the different families who have the dreaded disease and write down all of the different foods they have eaten and take samples from their septic systems. Soon Prudence finds a food that links all of the families, peach ice cream. It turns out that they all have a cook who has worked for all of them, who made the peach ice cream for them.

It was recently discovered by a scientist that disease could be carried by a healthy person. The person doesn't get sick but can pass the illness on to others.

"The challenge ahead of us is to find this elusive cook and test her for the typhoid germ by examining her body fluids."

The cook, Mary Mallon has moved around a lot but Prudence and Mr. Soper finally tracks her down. She refuses to get tested, she can't understand how she could make people sick when she, herself is not sick.
Mary Mallon was a real person who was to become known as Typhoid Mary. Julie Chibbaro takes a piece of history and runs with it. She developed her main character Prudence well and we see her learn and grow. As I read the story I kept thinking to myself, "you go girl, show people that not all women should be chained to a house with no other aspirations."

Deadly is geared for young adults. It deals with issues of disease, feminism, and family. It also explores ethical issues. I think it would make for great discussion for a young adult book club. Though there is science in the book, it is well explained in fairly simple terms. I highly recommend it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Like Reliving History March 3 2011
By Donna C - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A behind-the-scenes look at Typhoid Mary told in epistolary form from the point of view of a teenage girl with a curious mind, Deadly was a swift, fascinating read that had me running from one cover to another. Despite the fact that the letters were mere snippets in Prudence's life, despite the fact that the world is viewed very narrowly through her eyes, I felt everything she felt. I could see her mother, her boss and the female doctor she idolized as clearly as Prudence did.

The voice, while set firmly in the time, was every bit as relevant and poignant as any other voice in a modernly-set YA novel. Prudence had all the issues of a growing woman, only exacerbated by the era that held her brain hostage. Not only did she have to contend with boys, an absent best friend and standards held to her by her mother and her school's owner, Prudence was fighting the tide of female empowerment. She wanted to be a doctor. She held more interest in germs and how they worked than being a counter girl at a department store and marrying well. Prudence stood out against the backdrop of Victorian New York and she did it subtly.

Prudence's voice wasn't loud and brazen. She was timid, afraid, hesitant. She was trying to function outside the norms of women of her time and she was only a teenager doing it. Her personality reflected that yet she remained strong despite all the nagging coming at her, trying to get her to act "proper."

The far away love she carried for her boss was heartbreaking. When she took a leap of faith, one that could have rightly ended her career, she had all the normal doubts and regrets of doing it yet she soldiered on. She didn't cave and bury herself far away from him. She faced him and continued doing what she loved.

Chibbaro wrote an excellent story, one that could have rightly been the diary of a real girl during that time. Every word was believable, every emotion tugging. The simplicity of the story, how mundane it is to us in this century, was made vivid and alive. Frightening in all the right places, endearing and empowering in the rest. I wish there was more there but we're only allowed this small peek into Prudence's life. We must make up the rest.

If you're looking for an historical fiction piece that feels like it was cut right out of history itself and served to you on a platter, Deadly is it. You will feel New York for what it once was. You will feel and understand Prudence in her daily life, feel her struggles, her choices, her pain. For the short time you're reading it, everything will fade around you and you'll end up on a bench in Victorian New York, watching the story unfold around you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Historical Fiction Read June 30 2011
By Lindsay Horne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For full review with images: [...]

Deadly is the tale of a Prudence, young girl living in New York in the early 1900s. While she sits in Ms. Browning's school learning how to become a lady, she daydreams about doing something more with her life than getting married and having babies. She practices as a midwife with her mother and learns that there is much more to being a human than meets the eye. It is these experiences that plant a seed in her to learn more about the sciences.

Prudence lands a job as an assistant to one of the chiefs at the Department of Health and Sanitation and spends all of her time involved in the case of "Typhoid Mary." It is through this case that she realizes her strengths and weaknesses, and learns about what roles men and women are expected to play during this time period. She begins realizing what a career in medicine and science would mean for her and how she should navigate to that goal.

Another storyline involves the whereabouts of her father, who went to fight in the Spanish-American War but never returned. She and her mother spend their days waiting for him to come back home, and without spoiling the ending to this story, they do learn his whereabouts.

The novel shows the evolution of Prudence into a young woman as she follows her dreams. I truly loved it for many reasons. First, I love historical fiction and this is set in a very interesting time in the United States - the early 1900s when women struggled in many ways. Second, I am getting more and more interested in books that deal with science and medicine as it evolved throughout history. This novel reminded me very much of Charles and Emma by Deborah Heiligman, which I also adored.

Deadly also focuses on science pretty heavily. Throughout the book there are awesome illustrations that accompany what is being described, as if Prudence herself was drawing these in her tablets. The illustrations definitely add a lot to the novel.

Another aspect of this novel that I loved was the setting - New York in the early 1900s. If there is ever a setting that could have supported the scientific questions of the day this was it. In the beginning, there is a description of a dog stopping to use the bathroom on the street and Prudence sees what is left behind and she describes the worms that are remaining. New York during this time was unclean, and that really does support the premise of the novel.

Interestingly enough, in the author's note in the back it states that the author had heard of the urban legend "Typhoid Mary" many times and when she stumbled upon the real Typhoid Mary in her research, she realized that the real story of this poor Irish immigrant needed to be told. While she is not the main character in the book, Mary Mallon (aka Typhoid Mary) certainly does play a central role.

I highly recommend this one - a great, quick, and interesting read.

Here are some of my favorite passages from the novel:

"The pursuit of knowledge is happiness, my friend. We women must allow ourselves that." (Anushka p. 164)

"My family is one of pioneers. My grandfather left his home with his baby and his wife and came to America. What did it take for him to do that? He left his own parents, and his aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, a language he knew and a farm he loved. My father left a wife and young child to go to another country and fight a war. I don't see how my family members tore themselves from the lives and people they loved, in order to press themselves into a new world. Why does a person have to leave so much behind when they make one decision over another?" (Prudence p. 204)

"Then I saw why she cried - she had sacrificed for her children, she had lost one of us, I was all she had left. And I had done something to make her proud. I felt a great warmth in my chest, an honor. She honored me with her pride." (Prudence p. 220)

"I sometimes felt as if I am an outline of myself, and each thing I learn from him is like a colored piece of yarn that gets knitted inside that outline, filling me, making me more defined." (Prudence p. 226)

"We walked across town in silence, our human failings a sort of truce between us." (Prudence p. 272)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
DEADLY- an amazing story for young girls. March 2 2011
By TotalBookaholic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful story! Deadly is about Prudence, a young girl with dreams far beyond those of her classmates. The entire book contains the diary entries of Prudence in the early 1900s as she decides to start working with a man who is researching diseases and how they are transferred at the Department of Sanitation. I didn't know a lot about "Typhoid Mary" before this book and I found it highly interesting.

First, Prudence decides to stop going to school where they only focused on how to make women good wives and mothers. Taking influence from her mother, who was a midwife, Prudence had strong goals for the type of woman she wanted to be. She had an instant interest in science and medicine and how the body works.

Once Prudence starts working she finds out they will be researching how typhoid is being spread among households. They search homes and interview members of the household to connect the dots and find the common aspects. I enjoyed following Prudence as she learned more about this disease, and others, as she tried to discover the cause of typhoid. Eventually, they find out that a cook, Mary Mallon may be the cause. During this time, it was not thought that people could carry a disease without any noticeable symptoms. Catching Mary proved to be a struggle and only evidence would help them stop her from spreading the disease.

This book was so easy to read and I felt like I had been transported to New York in the 1900s. Julie's writing flowed nicely and I loved how the entire book was taken from the mind of Prudence. Her drawings and illustrations of the body made me even more fascinated with the story. Not only was this book educational but it was highly inspiring. Not often do I read a story that I need young girls NEED to read but this is one of them! Prudence was an extremely strong-minded character. She didn't let comments, peers, or stereotypes slow her down from what she wanted to do. Even at such a young age she never wavered from wanting to be the best at her job.

With some influence she even discovers that she could be a doctor, something almost unheard of for women during this time. She spends time reading and writing trying to make her mother proud. Even with the loss of her father and brother, her perseverance goes on.

Deadly paints a beautiful picture of a young girl striving to be more than what's typical during her time. Prudence brings light to this story and shows how girls can be more than what some expect. Even today with all the changes in society, this is an important lesson for young girls. I would highly suggest this book for girls who not only want a terrific story, but need one with a great role-model.

-Review found at [...]


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