OVERRIDE

A Map of the Child

A Pediatrician's Tour of the Body

Darshak Sanghavi

Holt Paperbacks

Prompted by the realization that he's soon to become a father, pediatrician Darshak Sanghavi tells the story of children's astonishing development, from their beginnings as single cells to their rapid development into complex beings. Modeling his tour of the young body on the rounds of specialties at Boston's legendary Children's Hospital—where the author served his residency and now practices pediatric cardiology—he begins with the lungs and then moves on to the heart, blood, bones, brain, skin, gonads, and gut. In each case his relationship is with real children, their parents, and other doctors.

After Sanghavi describes how a newborn's lungs normally "open at birth like unfurled sails," we are introduced to Adam Flax, a premature infant whose lungs haven't developed, and marvel at the ingenuity of a procedure that saves his life. Later, we meet a child whose bone marrow transplant helps us to explore the immune system; a grade-school girl who grows too fast and sees ghosts, a condition that reveals the workings of the brain, and a teenage boy whose positive pregnancy test demonstrates how sex hormones work. Beyond such unusual cases we also learn about commonplace problems of interest to parents, including what causes diarrhea in babies, how asthma is treated, and how broken bones heal. From infancy to adolescence, Dr. Sanghavi reveals the workings of the developing body, describing what medicine can and cannot do when illness strikes.

Drawing on medical history, up-to-date research, and personal experience, A Map of the Child also considers controversial topics such as circumcision, chickenpox vaccination, child abuse, abortion, and alternative medicine, among others. And interwoven throughout the book are Sanghavi's descriptions of his struggle with illness in his own family.

With a nuanced, authoritative voice that doesn't shy away from complexity, Sanghavi provides a richly detailed—and humanized—portrait of modern medicine, which allows the reader to understand the miracle of a child's body.

REVIEWS

Praise for A Map of the Child

"A Map of the Child is a wonderful romp through the human body as seen through the eyes of a discerning and sensitive pediatrician. Sanghavi's organizes his material by organ systems, but this simply gives him a launching point to take the reader on spellbinding excursions. His writing delves deep into the heart of what medicine is and the miracles and hazards of the voyage of childhood."-Abraham Verghese, author of The Tennis Partner and My Own Country

"Dr. Sanghavi teaches by example and complements his stories with science, medicine, religion, philosophy and social commentary. Having watched Dr. Sanghavi's own development as a pediatrician, it is wonderful to observe the power that his personal learning experience can now have on others, be they medical colleagues, parents or general readers. Indeed, Dr. Sanghavi provides a roadmap and directory for understanding the impact of illness on children as well as those who care for them."-Philip A. Pizzo, MD, Dean, Stanford University School of Medicine

"Appealing and informative. . . An elucidation of the human child's organs, the how and why of illnesses that strike them, and such related issues as circumcision, vaccination, abortion, and child abuse-all enriched by the author's personal memories. Sanghavi describes this work as part of his "quest to learn humanity," a goal he has heartwarmingly achieved."-Kirkus Reviews

"An outstanding quality of this work is that it shows how the author handles controversial issues, such as abortion and child abuse, in an objective and level-headed manner."-Library Journal, starred review

"An example of expert storytelling-a true page turner. [Sanghavi's] profession has provided him with a wealth of illuminating stories that he weaves together seamlesly. . . Compelling, thoughtful and informative."-Albert L. Huebner, Bookpage

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Darshak Sanghavi

  • Darshak Sanghavi graduated from Harvard and Johns Hopkins University. He has done medical research in Japan, India, Kenya, and Peru, and until recently was a pediatrician for the U.S. Indian Health Service, during which time he lived on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. Sanghavi is currently practicing pediatric cardiology at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and lives in Boston with his wife and son. He writes regualary for The Boston Globe and is a frequent guest on NPR.
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Available Formats and Book Details

A Map of the Child

A Pediatrician's Tour of the Body

Darshak Sanghavi

  • Trade Paperback

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Holt Paperbacks

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