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The Bloody Book of Blood

Like the pages out of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, we’re seeing books get banned in some states. Math books, even!  Our favorite hemophilia archivist, Richard Atwood of North Carolina writes, “School libraries, and even their school librarians (can you believe it?), are under attack, with more and more books being banned for their content.” Richard provides a review below of juvenile literature that explains blood, including hemophilia, to young readers. He adds, “Kids seem to enjoy being grossed out!” And hopes it does not get banned!

This text on blood in Kelly Regan Barnhill’s  2010 book, The Bloody Book of Blood, is classified as juvenile literature. Hemophilia is included among the numerous blood topics. Hemophilia is explained in the section “Blood Disorders” that is accompanied with a photograph of a bruise on page 22. The text states: “Hemophilia is a rare, but serious blood disorder. This disease keeps a person’s blood from clotting properly. Patients with hemophilia need to be extra careful. A cut can bleed for days, and it may never heal completely. Even a small bruise can be a big problem. The extra blood pools under the skin, causing the bruise to grow to a huge size.”

Hemophilia is defined in the glossary, along with a pronunciation guide. The text states: “hemophilia (hee-muh-FIL-ee-uh) — a health condition in which blood does not clot normally.”

This is an educational book, part of The Amazingly Gross Human Body series that includes texts on blood, vomit, spit, snot, sweat, and… pee. This short book with a large font includes one page for a glossary, one page for an index, one page for “read more” and internet sites, 16 illustrations, and 4 “gross facts.” Michael Bentley, a professor of biology at Minnesota State University, Mankato, acted as a consultant.

“The author simplified the definition of hemophilia appropriately for juvenile readers, yet a simple note on proper treatment, and maybe genetics, would be beneficial,” Richard adds.

Kelly Regan Barnhill.  2010. The Bloody Book of Blood. Mankato. MN: Capstone Press. 32 pages.

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