If you have not guessed, I enjoy the First Second published graphic novels. These books really “get” their readers. And when I saw they did a science series, I was curious. Therefore, I picked one that I had a little interest in as I knew a little about it and yet, was not my favorite subject or something I knew well. Studying plagues is a bit unusual to start with, but of course, necessary.
Science Comics: Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield by Falynn Koch is a clever way to teach about the germs, plagues and more icky stuff that hits the human body. However, it is more of an introduction than a comprehensive book on the subject. Aimed at ages (strong) 8 and 9, up to about 14 (and adults can learn from it as well) this might help your struggling scientist or your visual learner if used in addition to their regular studies.
This is probably not something that could be read aloud due to the format and subject, but also since it is one long story. There are no chapter breaks or even areas that one could pause, stop and take a breath. (Though if you were in some of the times mentioned, due to the not so pleasant aromas, it might be a good idea not to breathe).
The story is a scientist has a virtual reality situation where she has invited the yellow fever and bubonic plague to learn about germs, their dangers and see if they are willing to help and mutate themselves to create cures. Humor ensues, the “bad guys” are ugly and mean, Yellow is not the brightest thing out there and Bo your favorite, cranky serial-killer uncle. You learn about the epidemics, the heath care available, hygiene knowledge, the superstitions and myths surrounding diseases, and even how and when the concept of “germs” came about.
This is not an easy read, but I learn much about the subject. However, I wonder what has (in the last two years since it was first published) what changes have happened as far as discoveries or due to the current vaccination discussions, which diseases (once eradicated or almost eradicated) are back killing humans again.