About the Book
Author: Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Genre: Middle Grade Biography
Number of Pages: 230
Synopsis: 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.
Mary Mallon was just a girl when she immigrated to the United States from Ireland. Mary wasn't afraid of hard work and quickly earned the respect of her employers as well as her coworkers. In the summer of 1906 Mary is hired as a cook for the Warren family in Oyster Bay, Long Island. The family is delighted with Mary's delicious meals and pleased with her help when the typhoid virus quickly spreads through their home. When the outbreak is investigated and no leads are found as to the cause George Soper, a sanitary engineer, steps in to find the truth. He soon learns that their former cook, Mary Mallon, is no longer with them and is eager to locate and speak with her. Once George Soper locates Mary her nightmare begins and life as she knew isl never the same again.
Terrible Typhoid Mary is a well written biography that will captivate readers and leave them eager to learn more about Mary Mallon. I only knew a little bit about Mary Mallon and have to admit that I began reading this book a little biased as to her guilt, but the author does a wonderful job of depicting Mary as a human being who innocently infected others with the typhoid virus because she didn't understand the concept of a healthy carrier. I often felt sorry for Mary, as she seemed railroaded and her "healthy carrier" status could have been dealt with in a away that was less detrimental to her freedom. The author aids readers in keeping an open-mind as she presents the facts of Mary's endless struggle with New York authorities. Terrible Typhoid Mary is a great read. Perfect for any home school or traditional classroom.
I highly recommend picking up a copy.