Basil Frankweiler and History Smashers

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler     E.L. Konigsberg   (1967) 

Plagues and Pandemics - History Smashers      Kate Messner  (2021) 

If I'm going to make my goal of 100, I'll have to include kids books and books I might have already read. And lest you think I have no chance - this makes only 3 and January is nearly over - I have 5 that I'm close to finishing, child of the remote control. 

When I was 10 or so, I read this book about two kids who run away from their oppressive suburban lives to NYC to live in the Met, I was all about it. I lived in a suburban outpost of St. Louis full of sweat and grass clippings. I had never even been to a museum. I was captivated by the idea these kids ran away and lived in a museum. Lucy, on the other hand, has been to the Met lots of times. And she is also a New Yorker. She enjoyed the book once she realized it was written in 1967. No way those kids ride the train by themselves from Greenwich. Somebody would say something. And aren't there motion sensors all over the Met they turn on at night? There are at least cameras they monitor from a control center. Still a great book I enjoyed reading again, too. I hardly remember the details. It was made into a couple of not so good movies, one with Ingrid Bergman and the other with Lauren Bacall. I know, wow. Still not good. 

Germs and bacteria, plagues and pandemics, fevers and pustules, rats and fleas. We kept Lucy out of school her first week back after Christmas to see how the school was going to fare. We've read the Titanic one from this series and liked it so we tried this one thinking it would be an appropriate science lesson for the week. This book covers pretty much all of them -  black death, yellow fever, cholera, TB, polio, both pandemics, Ebola, AIDS and smallpox. I didn't know that the smallpox vaccine came from cowpox. Predictably, there were people who didn't trust it at the time despite its obvious effectiveness. There is a cartoon from a contemporary newspaper depicting women running off with bulls because they got the vax. And not off to Pamploma. Microchip anyone? There are other books in the series, one about the Mayflower that's sure to have some information and perspective counter to the narrative we get in school. 

History Smashers. The white-washing, anti-CRT crowd probably would burn these books. Get them while they last.



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