In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city's residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia's free blacks in combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis that President Washington faced when he was forced to leave the city--and all his papers--while escaping the deadly contagion. The search for the fever's causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward, provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege.
An American Plague's numerous awards include a Sibert Medal, a Newbery Honor, and designation as a National Book Award Finalist. Thoroughly researched, generously illustrated with fascinating archival prints, and unflinching in its discussion of medical details, this book offers a glimpse into the conditions of American cities at the time of our nation's birth while drawing timely parallels to modern-day epidemics. Bibliography, map, index.
Whether it’s a device for shaping the upper lip or a life preserver for horses, this parade of unusual inventions is a real treat for trivia lovers and any curious kid with an interest in science and inventions. Ages: 9–12.
Arthur Godschalk, an undergraduate student, innocent in the ways of the world and of women, finds part-time work at a lab that has contracted with the government to do experimental development of an army of killer chimpanzees. Becoming intimately involved with the family that owns the lab, as well as with several other women who work there, Arthur finds himself in a precarious position when he wakes up after an accident to find his fate is totally in the hands of the person who hates him most in the world, his mother-in-law.
Leading his new chimp army from California to Africa, Arthur struggles to survive his new situation as he discovers secrets about himself, as well as the search for meaning that has driven all hominids for a million years--the quest of Life itself.
A hat that can tip itself. A suitcase that turns into a bathtub. A pair of protective eyeglasses for chickens. These are just three of the hundreds of unusual inventions that people have dreamed up over the last two centuries. Some, such as the mustache guard, made perfect sense when they first appeared. Others were considered just plain silly. Jim Murphy has compiled a collection of the weirdest and wackiest inventions and presented them in a quiz style that is challenging and fun. Simple, clear explanations are provided on how the inventions worked or failed to work. Complete with over 100 colored illustrations of these crazy creations, this is the perfect gift for any child interested in science and inventions. Ages: 9–12.
A virus from billions of years in the past has emerged from ancient salt beds with devastating results. As the virus turns evolution on its head, people are changed into monsters, animals begin to demand their rights, and civilization is brought to its knees. The few remaining humans seek safety in the quarantine of walled cities such as the Vatican. They desperately seek a cure, but the only one they find may have results too horrible to contemplate
Judeus and Miranda, recent converts to the phylum Porifera, set out with a were-wolfish priest, a planeload of mutating pilgrims, and a sabre-tooth shape-shifting cat on their own journey from Miami to the Vatican. One wants to teach the Pope how to pray in this strange new world. The other wants to stop the cure being developed by the remaining humans. And they both want to get the Pope's final answer on whether non-humans should marry.
With their plane shot down over Africa, they learn that strange events are not limited just to the civilized parts of the world.
Is the virus God's punishment on the world? Or is there no god but the virus? Or is the virus going to create a new god? Can three sponge-monsters straighten this mess out?
In Confessions of a ChimpManZee, parts of Arthur's brain were transplanted into the skull of a hybrid bonobo. In Africa's Children, Arthur is sent to Africa to help with a Pentagon project to create an army of killer apes, but instead, he disappears into the jungle. Arthur has left human children behind in California, and those three children, now of college age, and with an inheritance to finance them, travel to Africa to search for their missing father. After they are captured by a band of rebel soldiers, they discover that the compound where their father had been living has been destroyed by those same soldiers. However, it may be that their father has escaped being killed and has gone somewhere even the forest chimps will not visit. The children become separated and fall in with different groups who are headed in the same direction for their own nefarious reasons, and as the groups converge, the children discover things about themselves and about life that they never dreamed possible.
An Dong, a peasant in French Indochina, has dreams of a life he has lived before, but the dreams are of a place and a time that no one could possibly have seen--a place in the future history of a different country. In contrast to his current life of degradation and slavery, his future life is one of freedom and happiness, at least at first. He becomes convinced that his dreams are telling him that he must take action in his current life in order to keep safe that world of the future, but what it is he is supposed to do is not clear.
If such things as reincarnation and karma are real, what is their nature? What are the laws that govern them? Are they punishments for lives poorly lived, or are they choices we make?