The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs
Hardcover
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For Ages 10+

This book for young readers explores in riveting detail the false panic created by the famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast from 1938 — as well as the repercussions of “fake news” today.

On the night of October 30, 1938, thousands of Americans panicked when they believed that Martians had invaded Earth. What appeared to be breaking news about an alien invasion was in fact a radio drama based on H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds, performed by Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre players. Some listeners became angry once they realized they had been tricked, and the reaction to the broadcast sparked a national discussion about fake news, propaganda, and the role of radio. In this compelling nonfiction chapter book, Gail Jarrow explores the production of the broadcast, the aftermath, and the concept of fake news in the media.

A 2019 Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book * A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * A Booklist Editors’ Choice * A Washington Post Best Children’s Book * A BCCB Blue Ribbon * A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books

Praise for The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs

★ Beneath a skull-and-crossed-utensils cover, Jarrow unleashes the Poison Squad as part of her fascinating, stomach-churning account of Harvey Washington Wiley’s crusade for food safety standards and regulation in the U.S. Vintage ads, product labels, newspaper headlines, cartoons, and photographs offer a visual feast for readers, who will be so engrossed in the stories of unconscionable products and unwitting victims that they won’t realize they’re imbibing a powerful lesson in food safety and the evolution of today’s FDA. Extensive source notes and resources are icing on the cake.

—Booklist, starred review

★ Jarrow is brutally honest in her descriptions of the ill effects of certain toxins, and the included cheerful ads promoting poisonous products make for a particularly chilling juxtaposition. The no-nonsense tone mixes with wealth of riveting anecdotes to create a surprisingly heady brew of consumer history.

—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

★ Jarrow vivaciously draws readers into a world of horrors hiding in plain taste. Maintaining a matter-of-fact, conversational tone throughout, she presents a tantalizing flood of anecdotes and facts, text peppered with old magazine adverts, photographs, and gory details aplenty; extensive backmatter encourages further research into a subject more than fascinating enough to warrant it. Revolting and riveting in turns, Jarrow’s masterfully crafted narrative will fundamentally alter how readers view their food. Though laced with toxins, this is anything but toxic.

—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ A provocative… riveting chronicle… (i)n gripping, relatable language… this easy-to-read work (is) a fine classroom resource and an excellent addition to any collection.

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ In this microhistory about the pure food movement, Gail Jarrow has created an excellent reference book about a little-regarded topic that will be useful to classes learning about science, American history, and government. The pictures include a variety of primary sources, including photographs, advertisements, political cartoons, and letters, all of which support further research.

—School Library Connection, starred review
Details
  • Price: $18.99 U.S. / $24.99 CAN
  • Publish Date: 2019
  • Interest Level: 10+
  • Trim Size: 8" x 10"
  • Pages: 160
  • ISBN-13: 9781629794389

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