Audiobook Review: Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Title: Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America
Author: Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Genre: YA Historical Non-Fiction / Science
Publication Date: August 4th, 2015
Publisher: Clarion Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“What happens when a person’s reputation has been forever damaged?

With archival photographs and text among other primary sources, this riveting biography of Mary Mallon by the Sibert medalist and Newbery Honor winner Susan Bartoletti looks beyond the tabloid scandal of Mary’s controversial life.

How she was treated by medical and legal officials reveals a lesser-known story of human and constitutional rights, entangled with the science of pathology and enduring questions about who Mary Mallon really was.

How did her name become synonymous with deadly disease? And who is really responsible for the lasting legacy of Typhoid Mary?

This thorough exploration includes an author’s note, timeline, annotated source notes, and bibliography.” (Goodreads)

Typhoid Mary is a prominent person when it comes to the history of pandemics and how bacteria spreads. I have always been fascinated by her ever since I started reading about tuberculosis and she was mentioned. I’m happy I ran across this book by chance because I got to learn more about her life and the misery life dealt her.

The book is told from third person narrative and contains letters and journal entries written by some of the people mentioned, including Mary. It starts off with an encounter of typhoid and figuring out how one family came down sick with it and realizing through tracing it came do to the cook aka Mary. It’s interesting how tracing is something that is still used and was used during our own pandemic recently.

The state treated Mary horribly and even though she gets a bad rep for what happened, I don’t think she meant to do anything on purpose. Bacteria and germs were a new thing and back then it just wasn’t talked about enough. Because of this and articles that were written about her, she lived a lonely life from that point until she died. It’s very tragic. I do think through her there was a lot learned and for that I am thankful. I just wish they would have been kinder to her.

Overall, this was short but gave me more information on someone I had always heard about. I’m glad I got to learn more about her life even if it was quite sad.


Book Review: Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

Title: Scritch Scratch
Author: Lindsay Currie
Genre: Middle Grade Paranormal / Mystery
Publication Date: September 1st, 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks

A ghost story about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.

Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone.

Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.

Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something…and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late.” (Goodreads)

I had no idea this book existed until Amanda @ aelilyreads wrote a review and then I knew I needed to read it!

I’m also glad that my library had it so I didn’t have to look too hard for it, haha.

This book wasn’t really what I expected but in a good way. In a way, I thought this book would be more spooky but instead we get paranormal activity laced with mystery that surrounds actual events from Chicago. If you know me well, I am really intrigued by historical events (even spooky ones because I like to torture myself, haha.).

I was so fascinated by everything that was mentioned so of course, I had to go to google multiple times while reading. It really helped to understand all of the events that the main character was talking about. Although, even without google the author does a great job of giving enough information to the reader about events.

The plot isn’t just about the paranormal activites plaguing Claire but it’s also about friendship and family.

Claire is struggling to find balance in her friendship when a new girl comes along. It’s hard feeling like your bestfriend is slipping away. I’ve been there and it sucks. I liked seeing how it would all play out and I’m glad that there was a great resolution in the end.

Family was big since she had to rely on her brother for help. He never once thought she was crazy about seeing a ghost and made sure to help her in any way he could, even if that meant not telling their parents. I love seeing sibling bonds and I liked the one in this book very much.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is a solid MG book that isn’t too spooky but still gives those paranormal vibes. The historical events and real hauntings from Chicago were the icing on the cake for me. It was just all around a good book and I would definitely recommend it!