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Deadly [Paperback]

Julie Chibbaro , Jean-Marc Superville Sovak
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Feb. 21 2012
Join the search for Typhoid Mary in this early twentieth-century CSI. Now in paperback!

Prudence Galewski doesn’t belong in Mrs. Browning’s esteemed School for Girls. She doesn’t want an “appropriate” job that makes use of refinement and charm. Instead, she is fascinated by how the human body works—and why it fails.

Prudence is lucky to land a position in a laboratory, where she is swept into an investigation of a mysterious fever. From ritzy mansions to shady bars and rundown tenements, Prudence explores every potential cause of the disease to no avail—until the volatile Mary Mallon emerges. Dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press, Mary is an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home the fever has ravaged. But she’s never been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in solving one of the greatest medical mysteries of the twentieth century? 

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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."

"Paced like a medical thriller, "Deadly" is the rare Y.A. novel in which a girl’s intellectual interests trump adolescent romance. A 16-year-old Jewish tenement dweller in 1906 New York pines away days at a finishing school on scholarship and nights helping midwife young mothers. When she quits school to assist the Department of Health and Sanitation in its pursuit of "Typhoid Mary," she is awakened to nascent opportunities for women in science."

--New York Times Book Review, March 13, 2011 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great YA Historical Fiction May 13 2011
By Teddy
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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read! July 12 2011
By Maryann C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is the story of a young woman trying to her find her way in life. It is an intriguing page turner with historical facts about Mary Mallon (the infamous Typhoid Mary). Whether you are a young person or an adult this is a good read to get lost in.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Read! July 2 2011
By emzyv23 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I loved everything about this book. It was such a nice change of pace from your typical werewolf, vampire, magical YA books (not that those aren't awesome..because they are..sometimes).
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