Invisible Allies: Microbes That Shape Our Lives

Invisible Allies: Microbes That Shape Our Lives

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Young Adult Science Book Winner!

The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science books honors outstanding science books for children and young adults. Each year, winning books are chosen by a committee of scientists, teachers, and librarians. Winning books are factually sound and use interesting stories and vivid illustrations to encourage children and young adults to explore scientific concepts. The above link directs you to the 2006 SB&F Prize-winning books.

For Educators

Using entertaining examples and fascinating historical background, Invisible Allies, by Jeanette Farrell, shares with readers the important impact microbes have on our everyday life. From the creation of foods such as cheese and chocolate, to digestion, to decomposition, microbes play an important role in our lives.

Use the book to open up discussion about the beneficial role microbes play in our lives. Microbes often are equated with disease and germs, when in fact most microbes play a vital role in shaping our lives. Have students find examples of “friendly” microbes and their functions vs. harmful microbes. To explore this idea further, have students read the author’s previous book, Invisible Enemies: Stories of Infectious Disease. Compare and contrast the two books. You may also want to ask students to comment on and investigate further the prolific use of anti-bacterial products.

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