CHASING SECRETS by Gennifer Choldenko combines an engaging medical mystery with a little-known historical event.
Set in 1900, Lizzie would prefer to work along side her physician father than attend finishing school. She secretly longs to become a doctor and is fascinated by science. When part of San Francisco is quarantined, a family servant is trapped in Chinatown. Although officials are denying a plague, Lizzie is convinced that people aren’t telling the truth about what’s happening in the city and she is willing to do anything to save her friends and family.
This compelling work of historical fiction weaves together a number of interesting themes related to forbidden friendships, race relations, and class. It also sheds light on the history of immunization and people’s distrust of medicine.
Fans of Choldenko’s other works of historical fiction will recognize her use of humor, well-developed characters, and conversational writing style. Librarians will find an audience beyond those who traditionally read historical fiction. This is an excellent opportunity to pair historical fiction with nonfiction books about the history of medicine.
To learn more about the author, go to http://www.gennifercholdenko.com/.
Published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s on August 4, 2015. ARC from NetGalley.