A succinct and compelling Covid-19 analysis, packed with valuable information for readers young and old.

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?

HOW IT INFECTS, HOW IT SPREADS, AND HOW TO STAY SAFE

An easy-to-follow illustrated guide to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Persad, the author the Garbology Kids book series about waste management, provides a comprehensive discussion of the novel coronavirus, addressing how it spreads throughout a community, the development of vaccines to fight it, and how the pandemic has affected people’s mental health, among other issues. Persad’s logically organized work simplifies the subject of Covid-19 research, beginning with a basic examination of viruses in general, including their size and structure, and how they replicate within the body. Other fundamental topics include a discussion of how mutations can lead to the creation of new viral strains that can spread from humans to animals. Persad offers an examination of other prevalent global viruses, as well as historical pandemics, but, as one might expect, much of the book is dedicated to an analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants of concern, including the Delta variant, which is dominant as of this writing. The author outlines exactly what makes this virus particularly deadly for some people, and it also assists readers with distinguishing the symptoms of Covid-19 from other common ailments, which will help many readers to understand when to seek medical help. This work will be particularly useful for younger readers, due to the inclusion of Persad’s lively illustrations, colorful charts, and text boxes, but there’s valuable information here for people of all ages, presented in a simple, straightforward style. In a time of medical and economic uncertainty, discussions of the pandemic can be emotionally challenging, but Persad consistently provides interesting side stories to keep readers engaged, such as how an understanding of cowpox led to the creation of a smallpox vaccine. The early material effectively lays the groundwork for a deeper understanding of pandemics in general, and offers clues to our own future.

A succinct and compelling Covid-19 analysis, packed with valuable information for readers young and old.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-9812439-3-1

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Firewater Media Group

Review Posted Online: Nov. 29, 2021

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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An oft-ignored but fully convincing argument that “we cannot prevent the next pandemic without creating a healthy world.”

THE CONTAGION NEXT TIME

The Covid-19 pandemic is not a one-off catastrophe. An epidemiologist presents a cogent argument for a fundamental refocusing of resources on “the foundational forces that shape health.”

In this passionate and instructive book, Galea, dean of the Boston University School of Public Health, writes that Covid emerged because we have long neglected basic preventative measures. “We invest vast amounts of money in healthcare,” he writes, “but comparatively little in health.” Readers looking to learn how governments (mainly the U.S.) mishandled the pandemic have a flood of books to choose from, but Galea has bigger issues to raise. Better medical care will not stop the next epidemic, he warns. We must structure a world “that is resilient to contagions.” He begins by describing the current state of world health, where progress has been spectacular. Global life expectancy has more than doubled since 1900. Malnutrition, poverty, and child mortality have dropped. However, as the author stresses repeatedly, medical progress contributed far less to the current situation than better food, clean water, hygiene, education, and prosperity. That’s the good news. More problematic is that money is a powerful determinant of health; those who have it live longer. Galea begins the bad news by pointing out the misleading statistic that Covid-19 kills less than 1% of those infected; that applies to young people in good health. For those over 60, it kills 6%, for diabetics, over 7%, and those with heart disease, over 10%. It also kills more Blacks than Whites, more poor than middle-class people, and more people without health insurance. The author is clearly not just interested in Covid. He attacks racism, sexism, and poverty in equal measure, making a plea for compassion toward stigmatized conditions such as obesity and addiction. He consistently urges the U.S. government, which has spared no expense and effort to defeat the pandemic, to do the same for social injustice.

An oft-ignored but fully convincing argument that “we cannot prevent the next pandemic without creating a healthy world.”

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-19-757642-7

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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