Winner of the Magnolia Award
HP Newquist takes young readers on an engaging tour of the world of blood, from
ancient history to modern science—with an occasional trip to the very strange side of
the most important tissue in our bodies. Oddly enough, scientists began to understand
this fascinating fluid only within the past one hundred years and how its microscopic
components nourish the entire body.
Whether the tales of vampires, medieval medical practices, and Mayan sacrificial
rites captivate or terrify, this comprehensive investigation into blood’s past and present
will surely enthrall. And if this account is a little bloodcurdling, well, that’s half the
Blood looks too simple to be so important: just a bright splash of liquid that seems as if it isn t much different from paint or fruit juice or cherry-colored water. In 11 concise chapters, Newquist (Here There Be Monsters) demystifies one of the most elemental and (literally) vital components of life as we know it. After an overview of the complex makeup of blood, Newquist dives into humankind s history with, beliefs about, and study of blood, including missteps and misconceptions along the way; both ritual and medical bloodletting are discussed, the latter persisting as a method of treatment well into the 1800s ( George Washington was treated with bloodletting and then died from it ). Newquist goes into detail to explain how blood moves through the human body and the critical role it plays in keeping us alive, also touching on hematophageous (blood-drinking) animals and vampire legends. Photographs and period illustrations appear throughout, and blood-spattered pages play into the subject matter s potential for ickiness, even while Newquist makes it clear that blood is worthy of fascination, not fear. Ages 10 14.