Review Blog

Aug 14 2014

Bugged: how insects changed history by Sarah Albee

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Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9780802734228
(Age: 11+) Non fiction. Insects. History. One hundred and sixty seven pages of information of how insects played a part in historical events will be a thrilling read to those people who love the minutiae of history, those who love to winkle out fascinating little bits of facts, those who find themselves a spot in a library on cold days and love browsing for the oddest of books to read and gather together information to share with friends.
I always seemed to have a library full of such people, mainly boys, at lunchtime and this would suit them admirably. It will however need to be sold to them as the cover and presentation of the book may not have the panache of a Guinness book of world records to entice them to open the pages.
Looking inside can be found chapters called 'The Horrible Histories of Human Hygiene' and 'The Earliest Epidemics and Twentieth Century Pox', and inside each oddly alliteratively named chapter can be found details within that framework.
One I enjoyed reading was 'Travel Troubles'. Within this short chapter can be found details of the American slave trade, the landing of the Mayflower, and information about yellow fever, dengue fever and the like.
Published in the USA, this book is mainly about events which affected that country, and will be fruitful for those who love collecting odd bits of history, if only to share with friends and family. It will prove to be a mine of information, but the purple and green illustrations do not add to its marketability.
Fran Knight

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