The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Rebecca Skloot has done a superb job of crafting a nonfiction book that reads like a fiction book! The story of Henrietta Lacks, her life, her cells, and her children are painstakingly researched by Rebecca over many years and what she uncovers is the "immortal life" of her cells and how the doctors from Hopkins took them, used them without anyone's permission, and continue to use them today. Even as Henrietta's family is poor, uneducated, and can't even afford health care, insurance and an education; still Henrietta's cells have helped find many cures in the world of medicine. Henrietta's children, especially her daughter, Deborah was one when her mother died an excruciatingly painful cervical cancer death. No one knew she was sick in her family, and as she continued to go to Hopkins for treatment, she also took care of her family. It was not until she went in for radiation, that she even told her sisters she was sick. After her death, her surviving children would suffer abuse at the hands of relatives, deprived of their loving mother. I read this to see if it would be a good title for faculty book club and I highly recommend it!!! But with the common core standards, I think students would benefit from reading this nonfiction title because it has so many points for students to discuss and learn about such as medicine, cancer, race relations, family dynamics and religious faith.
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