Mosquitoes Don’t Bite Me

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Mosquitoes don’t bite Nala Simiyu. It’s part of who she is, like being a half-Kenyan seventh-grader whose mother is in a wheelchair. But when a schoolmate’s father–who happens to head up a large drug company–learns of Nala’s special power, the excitement begins. After helping out with mosquito research, Nala has the chance to travel to Kenya to investigate mosquitoes’ reactions to her father’s family. All goes well until a man heartbroken by his daughter’s death from malaria kidnaps Nala. In the midst of a realistic adventure story, this book will introduce young readers to such dilemmas as health disparities, subtle racism, and who owns biological information. Brave, fallible, compassionate and spirited, Nala is a strongly relatable character in a loving, imperfect family.

Author: Pendred Noyce
Age Range : 9-12
Grades: 3-6
Clear

Book Details:

  • ISBN: Hardcover: 9780989792479/Paperback: 9781943431250 
  • Genre: Children's Nonfiction/Biography
  • Page Count: 180
  • Age Range: 9-12
  • Grades: 3-6
  • Lexile Level: 1160
  • Pub Date: 01/11/2019

Illustrations

Penny Noyce is a doctor, educator, writer and publisher. She studied biochemistry at Harvard and medicine at Stanford, then completed a residency in internal medicine in Minnesota. She moved to the Boston area, where she practiced at a community health center for several years. From 1993-2002, Penny helped lead a statewide math and science improvement effort called PALMS in the state of Massachusetts. She gradually withdrew from medical practice to focus on her education work and on raising her five children.

 

From 1991-2015, Penny helped lead the Noyce Foundation, established in honor of her father, Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the integrated circuit and co-founder of Intel. The foundation focused on improving science education nationwide, especially by supporting afterschool science. In 2016, this work led to the establishment of STEM Next, a nonprofit that supports out-of-school science clubs and programs across the country. One initiative of STEM Next is the Million Girls Moonshot, seeking to help a million girls build, event, and gain an engineering mindset.

 

Penny has served on the boards of numerous non-profits, includingthe Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, TERC, the Libra Foundation of Maine, the Concord Consortium, the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications and the AAAS public Outreach Committee. For five years, she served on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

 

As her older children set off for college, Penny began writing for middle-grade children. She has written seven books in the Galactic Academy of Science series along with four other novelfor ages 9-13. Besides novels, she has written one picture book about science explanations(The Book of Wrong Answers) and nonfiction books on bridges, inventors, and historical women of science.She is working on her first graphic novel and is helping to lead an NSF-funded project that teaches kids in afterschool settings about epidemiology and data, using her novel The Case of the COVID Crisis.

Reviews
“An unusually thought-provoking read highly recommended for young fiction readers who will receive more than action alone.”
– Diane Donovan, donovansliteraryservices.com
Mosquitoes Don’t Bite Me[‘s] insights are perfectly tailored for ages 9-12; from its discussions of sickle cell anemia and other health challenges to circumstances of poverty, health, and a personal hunt for truth and identity.”
– Midwest Book Review

Awards
– 2017/2018 Junior Library Guild Selection
– Outstanding Science Trade Book in 2017

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