Down with the Sickness

Germs make me sick coverGerms make me sick: A Health Handbook for Kids
Donahue and Capellaro

Submitter: This is a cute little book, that sadly is very out of date. Although I am no longer working in a public library, I have to imagine people would be asking for information on Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68.), Bird Flu, and Ebola.  Well they’re not in this book. Not a good idea to keep medical advice from 1975.

Holly: Agree! The miserable little characters are adorable, though. Especially the puker on the cover. Nice.

Germs make me sick - Contents



Germs on the skin


German measles

Hand foot and mouth disease

Diseases you probably won't get

Germs Make Me Sick - back cover


  1. Even though I know the answer, I’m still going “why doesn’t that guy on page 52 have any internal organs?””

  2. Oh now I know there’s more modern versions of this same book. There’s a 1995 version (still too old, of course) that was one of the books on Reading Rainbow, and I’m sure if people searched they could find an up to date one from that. There’s no excuse the library could’ve had to have this on their shelf. Stuck somewhere like under a loose piece of carpet, maybe. But on the shelves? No.

  3. I rather doubt that children in the age range targeted by this book are looking for information on “Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68.), Bird Flu, and Ebola,” unless they are quite precocious. Most of the diseases listed here would be of more interest to them (in some areas even the Measles are coming back due to the anti-vaccination movement). Still, better to have something newer, if only because of condition and the likelihood of appeal to current kids’ tastes.

    1. Except whenever there is a panic about a certain disease, the children would likely be wanting to find out about that disease. So yes, they would be looking for information on Ebola, Bird Flu, or whatever other disease is in the news at the time.

  4. I’m a bit of a germaphobe with both a weird fascination and abnormal fear of illness. When I was in my early teens I read about botulism in a magazine and became so certain everything I ate was going to kill me I nearly drove my parents crazy. It would have been somewhat relieving to know that botulism is rare.

    Oh, and vaccines absolutely do NOT cause autism. End of story.

    1. I can’t understand how discredited research by a man who is now struck off the medical registry has such power over people. Frightening, eh?

      1. Not so much him as the powers of the celebrities behind him. People are so easily blinded by fame. I have friends who change their religion and eating habits according to their favorite celebrities. (And I’m a middle aged woman.) And my mom has a friend in her 80s who votes for whomever Barbara Streisand supports and never thinks for herself.

        If we could get all the famous people to STOP backing this discredited theory, normal people would stop believing it too.

        1. But, Faux News and its ilk would just come up with something else to go on about — that’s what they do. My mother also has a friend in her 80s, who believes all she hears on Faux News, and as a result she is fearful about all sorts of things — she can’t enjoy life without worrying over something needlessly. Voting in lockstep with Barbra Streisand would probably be far less harmful.

  5. I had fifth disease! No one I’ve ever talked to (including most of doctors I’ve asked about it) has ever heard of it, but it apparently conferred immunity to chicken pox, because when my younger sisters got cp, I didn’t.

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