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

Pendred (Penny) Noyce is a doctor, educator, and writer. She grew up in California, completed a degree in biochemistry at Harvard and a medical degree at Stanford, and did her residency in internal medicine in Minnesota. She then moved to the Boston area, where she practiced at a community health center for several years. In 1991, she helped establish the Noyce Foundation in honor of her father, Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the integrated circuit and co-founder of Intel. The foundation focuses on improving K-12 education, particularly in mathematics and science. 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. She has served on the boards of numerous non-profits, including most recently the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, TERC, the Libra Foundation of Maine, the Concord Consortium, and the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications.

As her older children set off for college, Penny began writing for middle-grade children. Her first two novels for children, Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers, and The Ice Castle: An Adventure in Music are published by Scarletta Press. As well as chairing Tumblehome Learning’s board, Penny serves as the editorial lead for our Galactic Academy of Science series of science mysteries. Tumblehome Learning represents a convergence of Penny’s interests in science, education, and great writing for kids.

Penny loves to travel, ski, ride horses, and explore islands.

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