Calkins Creek, 2015, ages 10 to adult
hardcover ISBN 978-1-62091-597-4   ebook ISBN  978-1-62979-060-2

Part of the Deadly Diseases Trilogy  

Gail's blog about writing the Deadly Diseases Trilogy--"The Mysterious, the Surprising, and the Gruesome."
Hear Gail discuss Fatal Fever on the Out of Bounds Radio Program. Click here.
Listen to Gail as she talks about writing Fatal Fever and reads an excerpt. Click here.
Hear Gail talk about Typhoid Mary on the “Talking Hart Island” podcast.


Typhoid fever is running rampant across America, striking down thousands of people. On a damp March morning in 1907, the dreaded disease pulls together three people at a New York City brownstone. Dr. George Soper, an epidemiologist, has traced an outbreak of typhoid fever to this house. Dr. S. Josephine Baker, a health department medical inspector, has been sent there to confront the suspected typhoid carrier. Mary Mallon, a cook for well-to-do New Yorkers, refuses to talk to either one of them. Her actions that day would lead to a notoriety that has lasted for more than a century.

This true medical detective story unfolds through first-person accounts, newspaper articles, and legal testimony. Illustrated with powerful photographs, period posters and cartoons, and archival documents.

What Reviewers Say:

California Reading Association Eureka! Gold Award
Excellence in Nonfiction Award Nominee 2016—YALSA-ALA
Blue Ribbons List 2015 for Nonfiction, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
CCBC Choices for 2016—Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Best Children’s Books of the Year, Outstanding Merit—Bank Street College of Education
Nonfiction Honor List 2016—VOYA
Best Science Books of 2015—International Literacy Association
Cybils 2015 Finalist for Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction
Nerdy Book Club Awards for Nonfiction 2015
Best of History book 2015—The Nonfiction Detectives
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Books, Best of the Best
New York State 2016 Summer Reading List
Association for Library Service for Children (ALSC) 2016 & 2017 Summer Reading Lists
North Carolina School Library Media Association 2017-18 Battle of the Books List
Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee 2018—Arizona Library Assn                                                                                                                                             
Junior Library Guild Selection
Starred Review, School Library Journal
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
Starred Review, Booklist


“A nonfiction page-turner relying upon extensive research and copious source notes, this is a fantastic addition to any library.” ~School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Lively writing uses primary sources to relate well-chosen, sometimes-gruesome details about the disease…This exploration pays tribute to the power of public health measures and raises questions about the ethics of protecting the public by quarantining someone like Mallon.” ~Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“The author’s extensive research results in a compelling narrative about the feared infection and the stubborn Mallon.” ~Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“The writing is lucid, well organized, and informative…Readers who are curious about Typhoid Mary…will find this an absorbing account of what actually happened.” ~Booklist, Starred Review

"Although the book is illustrated with numerous photographs, it’s the words that are the star of this show. Jarrow has written a suspenseful medical mystery for inquisitive readers." ~The Horn Book

“Jarrow follows the tribulation of the disease’s most notorious—and victimized—carrier, Mary Mallon, to reveal just how stubborn an issue public health can be, and how the rights of an individual can conflict with the welfare of the community.” ~Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Recommended

“[Jarrow] provides a wealth of historical and scientific information in a way that never slows the dramatic story…This is a visually compelling book with really terrific period photographs, newspaper articles and intriguing sidebars.” ~The Booklist Reader

”What really makes Jarrow’s book stand out is the writing. Jarrow, as she did in Red Madness, expertly weaves in historical details with scientific information to make this an exciting read.” ~The Nonfiction Detectives

“Reading Jarrow’s book, you see connections between the 1900 typhoid epidemic and our current need for better public health control of Ebola—not to mention the flu, SARS, measles, and other diseases.” ~Sally’s Bookshelf

“Right from the start, this medical history grips the reader and won’t let go.” ~Abby the Librarian

“Her research is impeccable and thorough, and her writing crisp and smart…This book is not to be missed.” ~San Francisco Book Review