BUBONIC PANIC: When Plague Invaded America

Calkins Creek, 2016
Ages 10 to adult
ISBN hardcover: 978-1-62091-738-1
ISBN ebook: 978-1-62979-562-1

Part of the Deadly Diseases Trilogy  

Gail's blog about writing the Deadly Diseases Trilogy--"The Mysterious, the Surprising, and the Gruesome."
Listen to Gail discuss Bubonic Panic on the Out of Bounds Radio Program. Click here.
Hear Gail talk about plague on the “Talking Hart Island” podcast.


In March 1900, San Francisco's health department investigated a strange and horrible death in Chinatown. The man had died of bubonic plague. But how could that be possible? The deadly disease had never struck America before. Bubonic Panic tells the true story of plague as it spreads around the world and across the centuries to the shores of the United States. Meet the public health doctors who desperately fought to end America's first plague epidemic, the political leaders who tried to keep it hidden, and the brave scientists who uncovered the disease’s secrets.

What Reviewers Say:

Best Books of 2016—School Library Journal
Best Books for Teens/Best Teen Mysteries & Thrillers of 2016 —Kirkus Reviews
Eureka! Gold Award, 2016—California Reading Association
Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students, 2017—NSTA/CBC
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for 2017—NCSS/CBC
CCBC Choices for 2017—Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Best Books for Teens, 2016—New York Public Library
Best Informational Books for Older Readers, 2016—Chicago Public Library
Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List 2018 (unanimous vote)—Texas Library Assn
Best and Brightest Nonfiction Books of 2016—Denver Public Library
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award nominee
Best Nonfiction Books, 2016—Nonfiction Detectives
Bookends Favorites 2016—The Booklist Reader
Best Long Form Nonfiction 2016—Nerdy Book Club                                                      
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
Starred Review, School Library Journal
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
Junior Library Guild Selection
Recommended, National Science Teachers Association

“Her gripping narrative balances the clock-racing work of scientists and officials attempting to understand and stop the plague with entwined themes of fear, prejudice, and anger.” ~Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Jarrow tells an absorbing story. Verdict: Nonfiction that reads like a thriller—not to be missed.” ~School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Jarrow’s detailed narrative and attention to the stories of the medical figures involved make this compelling reading…The level of research on display is impressive…A richly detailed exploration of a fascinating subject.” ~Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Thoroughly researched and clearly presented…An informative book on an unusual topic.” ~Booklist

“Jarrow’s latest disease presentation…is appropriately broad in scope, deft in explanations, and sensitive in handling public health issues. A wealth of period and cringeworthy medical illustrations supplement the text.” ~Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Thorough and fascinating, complemented by a handsome book design... The book is an exemplary contribution to the genre of the history of science and medicine.” ~Horn Book

“Jarrow’s skill as a storyteller is superb. The photos, drawings, and interesting layout will keep readers, young and old, engaged and fascinated, turning pages as if reading a thriller.” ~Manhattan Book Review