OVERRIDE

Invisible Allies

Microbes That Shape Our Lives

Jeanette Farrell

Square Fish

Mmm-mmm, microbes!

Although we are accustomed to equating the presence of microbes with disease, in fact most microbes play a vital "friendly" role in shaping our lives. It is not just that one hundred million microbes can populate a thimbleful of fertile soil, or that many millions live happily in as much of our saliva. Microbes are everywhere, and we could not survive without them. To emphasize their amazing ubiquity, Jeanette Farrell considers the invisible bugs essential to an everyday event: the eating of a light lunch consisting of a cheese sandwich and a chocolate bar. Microbes create such a lunch, digest it, and, through the alchemy of decomposition, transform it so that the cycle can start all over again. In the course of her eye-opening narrative, Dr. Farrell relates the historical significance of using microbes to preserve foods, our long-standing ambivalence about the microbes that live on and in us, and our growing understanding of their importance.

Interspersed with fascinating anecdotes and illustrations, Invisible Allies will transform the reader’s perception of the microcosmic world—around and inside us.

REVIEWS

Praise for Invisible Allies

* "Farrell brings an engaged and thoughtful approach to her subject. There’s enough sheer fascination in Farrell’s account of the teeming microscopic world to attract general-interest gawkers, who may find more interest in science than they had expected." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

* "Intriguing." —The Horn Book, starred review

* "A broad ranging and imminently readable book. Never talking down to her audience or hyping the grosser aspects of the subject, she presents what is known about beneficial microbes and acknowledges the ongoing scientific study of these amazing life forms." —Booklist, starred review

"This page-turner will persuade young readers, if not to love the microbes in which we are all more or less immersed, at least to appreciate them." —Kirkus Reviews

"Lively and engaging. A fascinating read." —Booklist

"This book is science for youth at its best and a must-have. One might hope there are more books to come from this author." —VOYA

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jeanette Farrell

  • As a girl, Jeanette Farrell worked on weekends at a tuberculosis sanatorium in Kentucky founded by her father. After graduating from college, she volunteered for a leprosy relief agency in India. She has recently completed her medical residency in Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her husband and two children.

  • Jeanette Farrell
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Available Formats and Book Details

Invisible Allies

Microbes That Shape Our Lives

Jeanette Farrell

American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, New Jersey Garden State Teen Book Award, IRA Children's Book Award Notable Book, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Awar, Booklist Editors' Choice, Horn Book Magazine Fanfare List, National Science Teacher's Association-CBC, Outstanding Scie, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
  • Trade Paperback

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Square Fish

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