Calkins Creek, 2019
Ages 10 to adult
ISBN hardcover: 978-1-62979-438-9; ebook: 978-1-68437-895-1

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Formaldehyde, borax, salicylic acid. Today these chemicals are used in embalming fluids, cleaning supplies, and acne medications. But in 1900, they were routinely added to food that Americans ate from cans and jars. Often products weren’t safe because unregulated, unethical companies added these and other chemicals to trick consumers into buying spoiled food or harmful medicines.

Chemist Harvey Washington Wiley recognized these dangers and began a relentless thirty-year campaign to ensure that consumers could purchase safe food and drugs, eventually leading to the creation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

In this nonfiction title for ages 10-14, Jarrow reveals this intriguing history in her trademark style that makes the past enthrallingly relevant for today’s young readers.

What Reviewers Say:

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review, Booklist
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
Highly Recommended, School Library Connection
Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Junior Library Guild selection

★“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

★"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." —Booklist, starred review

★”A provocative chapter title ‘Embalmed Bees and Other Delicacies’ opens this riveting chronicle from Jarrow…[A] fine classroom resource and an excellent addition to any collection.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

★”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.” — School Library Connection, highly recommended

★ “The no-nonsense tone mixes with a wealth of riveting anecdotes to create a surprisingly heady brew of consumer history.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review