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Medicine News: The Germ of an Idea

post written by Emma Filbrun

Medicine News by Phil GatesTitle: Medicine News: The Germ of an Idea
Author: Phil Gates
Series: The History News
Major Themes: Doctors, History, Medicine
Synopsis: The story of medical history is told in a series of news articles.

The History News is an intriguing way of presenting history. Medicine News tells the story of medical history from 8000 BC to the present in the format of a series of news articles.

Although I don’t believe the earth was around as far back as 8000 BC, the first article is interesting. It describes the skulls that have been found with holes in them, and theorizes about how and why these holes were made. Next, we are introduced to Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and then the beginnings of plastic surgery. On we go through history, in the book, meeting the most famous doctors from each era and having ringside seats to view the important breakthroughs in medical history. The History News reporters interview people such as Hippokrates, Vesalius, William Harvey, and Edward Jenner as they make discoveries that will benefit people ever after.

Not only are the news articles informative and fascinating, there are ads on every page which are very funny. For example, on the page about Pasteur, there is an advertisement for “Fine Flasks for Super Scientists: Buy a flask for the scientist in your life!” You’ll be amazed at how recent a lot of the things we take for granted are, such as anesthesia, antiseptics, x-rays, and antibiotics. All of these have been discovered only in the past 200 years. If you have children who are interested in either history or medicine, Medicine News: The Germ of an Idea will be a welcome addition to your library.

WARNING: I censored two pictures, in the first two pages.

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15


Links to buy Medicine News: The Germ of an Idea:

Amazon: Paperback | Hardcover

AbeBooks: View Choices on


Doctors, History, Medicine

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