Author: Patricia Newman
Category: Children's
Publisher: Lerner/Millbrook Press

Ebola is a deadly contagious disease. From 1975 to 2013, it killed about 1,500 people. But a 2014 epidemic killed more than six times that number. At first the outbreak was contained to one country. But soon it spread to two others?the virus was on the move, and people were scared. When two American healthcare workers became infected and were sent to the United States for treatment, many people feared a pandemic?an outbreak that would spread all over the world. Could it happen?

Ebola: Fears and Facts takes you behind the sensational headlines to address questions and concerns about the virus. Learn about the history of the disease, its symptoms, and how it spreads. Find out how the 2014 epidemic compares to past Ebola outbreaks, as well as to outbreaks of other infectious diseases. With a question-and-answer section and reference maps, Ebola: Fears and Facts will help you to better understand this most-feared disease.



Patricia Newman


Author of the October, 2015 non-fiction MG book for grades 4-8:



Junior Library Guild Selection

A Booklist Top Ten Science and Health Books for Youth


Ebola: Fears and Facts Book Trailer from Jim Bentley @Curiosity_Films on Vimeo.

(trailer by the 6th graders at Foulks Ranch Elementary School in Elk Grove, CA)

Listed in SLJ’s "Focus On Infectious Disease" bibliography

Listed in SLJ’s “Beyond the Headlines / New Books on Current Issues



http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=7897 (with interview)

http://sciencebookaday.com/2015/11/10/ebola-fears-and-facts/ (George Aranda)


Audience: Grades 4-8
ISBN: 978-146779240
Price: $31.99
CopyrightDate: 2015


"...a truly excellent book for middle grade students..."

School Library Journal

Identified fewer than 40 years ago by the scientists and health workers, Ebola is still misunderstood by much of the general public. Newman’s level-headed, clearly written title, which reads like a well-researched and in-depth journal article, covers many aspects of the disease, from the structure of the virus and its possible origins to symptoms and how it spreads. Newman also covers very recent developments, including the largely overblown panic in the U.S. after several Ebola cases emerged in American hospitals in 2014. Large color photos, both current and historical, show workers in the field and survivors, and diagrams, maps, and tables offer succinct access to the facts. With persuasive insight, Newman discusses prevention efforts, economic circumstances that breed conditions perfect for outbreaks, moving stories of families affected by the disease, and the importance of approaching media reports—particularly in the U.S.—with critical thinking skills. Incredibly up-to-date, sobering, and sensibly written, this multidisciplinary approach to a timely, important topic will be a practical addition to both public and school libraries, not only for reports on the disease or public health, but as a primer on media literacy. Excellent resources and comprehensive source notes close out the volume.

Francisca Goldsmith

Claiming the lives of thousands, the Ebola epidemic of 2014 had devastating consequences for three countries in Western Africa and transfixed the world. With straightforward language and eye-catching photographs, maps, and charts on almost every page, this work tells the distressing story of Ebola. Like many other infectious diseases, Ebola crosses from animals to humans. Highly contagious, it is difficult to contain. Newman describes the first emergence of the disease in 1976 and then traces the path of the virus during the 2014 outbreak, beginning with Patient Zero, two-year-old Emile Ouamouno from Guinea. The author discusses the doctors and nurses, as well as other workers and volunteers on the front line, who worked tirelessly, braving stigma and fear to aid the sick and contain the outbreak. Newman also addresses preventative measures, the development of drugs to combat the disease, the fear of an outbreak in the United States, and our responsibility as global citizens to aid poorer countries. Titles that provide up-to-the-moment information run the risk of becoming outdated quickly. To counter that potential problem, Newman supplies websites from organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Agency for International Development, and Doctors Without Borders, which will keep readers updated with the latest material available on Ebola. VERDICT Breaking new ground, Newman has written a truly excellent book for middle grade students that tackles the terrifying specter of Ebola. As the title suggests, readers will come away with more facts and less fears.

Ragan O’Malley
Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn, NY

The engaging chronological narrative begins with a discussion of Ebola’s origin, in 1976, in a remote area outside the rain forests of the Congo. Newman follows the scientists who used detective work to trace the path of exposure and its relationship to chimpanzees and gorillas (also susceptible to the disease), and flying Fox Bats (possible reservoirs for the disease). Optimistic in her tone, the author focuses on the global effort to halt Ebola, and the tireless volunteers who treat the sick, and care for countless orphans. A helpful media literacy exercise (“Truth or Hype?”) recommends questions students should ask themselves each time they read news about Ebola, or any other headline issue. Maps, charts, and full-page color photos depict differences in Ebola protective gear over time, villages that have been impacted by the disease, hospitals that treat the ill, and more, in this absorbing cover-to-cover read.

This brief overview of the history and nature of this deadly disease offers readers context for recent news headlines. Named for a long, winding river in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ebola virus first appeared in 1976, killing over 100 people. Since the first outbreak, Ebola has appeared in central Africa without warning and at no consistent intervals. It seems to reappear in villages after some significant disturbance in the jungle, such as brush clearing or hunting. Newman explains how subsequent outbreaks have enabled scientists to identify patterns of Ebola symptoms and how the disease is transmitted. There is discussion of the limited options for treatment of infected people and the potential risks to health care workers treating victims. A good deal of attention is devoted to the most recent outbreak, which Newman compares and contrasts with notable outbreaks of other diseases, such as the 1918 flu pandemic, SARS, and bird flu, a strategy intended to alleviate fears readers may have. Good advice is offered on how readers can judge the reliability of information they see about widely reported stories such as the recent Ebola outbreak. Newman concludes with a list of frequently asked questions. A well-organized, informative overview. (diagrams, maps, photos, glossary, source notes, bibliography, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)