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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America

Middle Grade Non-Fiction

G/A  Bartoletti, Susan Campbell.  Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America.  Houghton Mifflin, 2015.  240p.  978-0-544-31367-5. 17.99

There is not a lot of information about Mary Mellon available. We know she was Irish, worked as a cook and was a healthy carrier of the typhoid virus. After unknowingly infecting over 20 people with typhoid, Mary was nicknamed Typhoid Mary by the medical community. Bartoletti has pieced together Mary’s story, including her strong spirit and her confinement on North Brother Island. She also brings to light the fact that there were actually many healthy carriers of typhoid and none of them were treated as harshly as Mary was. The facts raise questions about differences in gender discrimination and civil rights. Book includes archival photographs, a timeline, notes and index. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library