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News & Reviews

How A Boy from Brooklyn Became America's Doctor



(Simon & Schuster)

(pub.6.29.2021) 48 pages

Author: Kate Messner

Illustrator: Alexandra Bye

Character: Dr. Anthony Fauci

Overview: "Before he was Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci was a curious boy in Brooklyn, delivering prescriptions from his father’s pharmacy on his blue Schwinn bicycle. His father and immigrant grandfather taught Anthony to ask questions, consider all the data, and never give up—and Anthony’s ability to stay curious and to communicate with people would serve him his entire life.

This engaging narrative, which draws from interviews the author did with Dr. Fauci himself, follows Anthony from his Brooklyn beginnings through medical school and his challenging role working with seven US presidents to tackle some of the biggest public health challenges of the past fifty years, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Extensive back matter rounds out Dr. Fauci’s story with a timeline, recommended reading, a full spread of facts about vaccines and how they work, and Dr. Fauci’s own tips for future scientists."

Tantalizing taste:

"In high school Anthony realized he wanted to be a doctor. He went to college and got a summer job working construction to help pay for his tuition. When the crew was building a new library for the Cornell medical college in New York City, Anthony snuck inside to peek at the grand auditorium. What would it be like to learn in such an extraordinary place?

Then a guard showed up. Anthony's work boots were tracking mud all over the floor! Anthony told the guard that he was going to attend medical school there in a year. The guard laughed and asked him to leave. So Anthony left ... but not for long.

He attended that medical school and graduated first in his class. Now he was Dr. Fauci!"

And something more:

The "Are Vaccines Safe?" section in the back matter shares: "Did you know ... when you roll up your sleeve for a vaccine, it doesn't protect only you? By boosting your immune system to fight disease, you also help to make sure you won't spread germs to your family, friends, or community. Getting a vaccine makes you a disease-fighting superhero!"

And Kate Messner's book dedication for DR. FAUCI recognizes superheroes during this pandemic:

"For all the scientists, health care professionals, first responders, and essential workers,

Thank you.

And for the scientists and problem-solvers of tomorrow,

Dream big."

A Story Inspired by "Somewhere Over the Rainbow /

What a Wonderful World"



Cameron Kids/Abrams

(pub.10.6.2020) 32 pages

Author: Alexandria Giardino

Illustrator: Penelope Dullaghan

Character: Inspired by songs sung by Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole

Overview: "The day the baby boy was born, on a beautiful Hawaiian island, the world sang him a lullaby. What a good song. But what is the good song? The boy listens for it and finds it in his heart and shares it with the world. Inspired by the medley of the classic songs 'Over the Rainbow' and 'What a Wonderful World' sung by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole, the good song is aloha—love." Tantalizing taste:

"After dinner, everyone played music together.

Their songs filled the night, along with the wind,

the rain, and the waves.

'This is aloha,' Grandpa said. 'This is love.'

Iz wanted to join in.

He strummed Uncle Moe Keale's old ukulele.

It was held together with bubble gum, but Iz didn't care."

And something more: THE GOOD SONG was a finalist for the 2020 NCBR Young Children's Literature Award.

Alexandria Giardino suggests podcasts to support Native Hawaiian storytellers:;;

And the author donates a portion of proceeds to a Hawaiian medical clinic that IZ long supported: Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

The Scientist who Beat Polio and Healed the World



Farrar Straus Giroux

6.22.2021 40 pages

Author: Dean Robbins

Illustrator: Mike Dutton

Character: Dr. Jonas Salk


"Jonas Salk wasn't seen as a brave hero―not at first. As a child he was quiet and unassuming, but Jonas dreamed of tikkun olam, the Jewish phrase for “healing the world.” He saw the polio virus strike his city, and he knew that with determination and hard work, he could be the one to stop its spread. So he grew up to study medicine, ultimately creating the polio vaccine that saved untold numbers of lives―and healed the world!" Tantalizing taste:

"Doctors and nurses came in with trays of vaccines.

Parents, teachers, and principals served as volunteers.

The children rolled up their sleeves for a polio shot.

The volunteers gave them a lollipop, a pin, and a special card.

Everyone was proud to help Dr. Salk prevent the disease."

And something more: Dean Robbins writes in the Author's Note: "The polio vaccine brought worldwide fame to the modest, soft-spoken doctor. People named streets, hospitals, and even babies about him. The United States government awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. No matter how famous he became, Jonas still personally answered the many fan letter that read, 'Thank you, Dr. Salk!'"

Where to find Jeanne Walker Harvey books

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