The children’s book industry is brimming with great titles about women in science and other fields who have made an impact in the way that we live. One such book is being published on October 9th about Dr. Sara Josephine Baker and how her work saved many children’s’ lives.
Dr. Jo – How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America’s Children, by Monica Kulling, tells about one of the earliest female doctors in America, Dr. Baker. She didn’t fit into the normal mold of “girl” in the late 1800s and was intrigued by medicine early on. That intrigue changed when both her brother and father died of typhoid after drinking contaminated water. She attended the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary, but few people wanted to go to a female doctor. Instead, she became a health inspector.
That role led her to Hell’s Kitchen, a poor neighborhood in New York, where she saw first hand what poverty and lack of knowledge was doing to new infants. She saw a need and went about fixing it.
Dr. Jo is the kind of character that our children need to learn about because she thought outside of the box. She also saw what ignorance could do and went about changing it without making anyone feel that they were ignorant. She not only cared for infant health, but she saw that women in general needed training in safe ways of taking care of their children and the birthing process.
The book itself might be challenging for younger readers, but if you are wanting to lure older elementary kids into a subject or give them someone completely different to research, this is a great opportunity.
Each Wednesday I try to post nonfiction picture books as part of the challenge set up by Kid Lit Frenzy. There are amazing books available for kids these days. Check the linkups on Alyson’s site for more!