In a riveting biography that reads like a crime novel, Sibert Medalist and Newbery-Honor winner Susan Campbell Bartoletti uncovers the true story of Mary Mallon, a.k.a. Typhoid Mary, one of the most notorious and misunderstood women in American history.
What happens when a person's reputation has been forever damaged? With archival photographs and text among other primary sources, this riveting biography of Mary Mallon by the Sibert medalist and Newbery Honor winner Susan Bartoletti looks beyond the tabloid scandal of Mary's controversial life. How she was treated by medical and legal officials reveals a lesser-known story of human and constitutional rights, entangled with the science of pathology and enduring questions about who Mary Mallon really was. How did her name become synonymous with deadly disease? And who is really responsible for the lasting legacy of Typhoid Mary? This thorough exploration includes an author's note, timeline, annotated source notes, and bibliography.
* "Bartoletti tells the woman’s story with empathy and understanding [and] explores the myriad violations of Mallon’s civil rights and her unusually harsh treatment in comparison to other healthy typhoid carriers. Energetic, even charming prose will easily engage readers."
—School Library Journal, starred review
* "Expertly weaving together both historical background and contemporary knowledge about disease and public health, Bartoletti enlivens Mallon's story with engrossing anecdotes and provocative critical inquiry while debunking misconceptions."
—Booklist, starred review
"[A] thoroughly researched biography."
* "Bartoletti skillfully weaves the answers into the beginning of the story, before moving on to Soper's cat-and-mouse game of tracking Mary down and then keeping her quarantined for most of the rest of her life...excellent nonfiction."
—Horn Book Magazine, starred review
"A very comprehensive and engaging account of the sad life story of Mary Mallon."
"Bartoletti delivers a fast-moving biography of Mallon herself...Enthusiastic and accessible, but it remains respectful, offering understanding and empathy for the numerous people affected by the outbreaks that followed in Mallon's wake."
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