Three For One! Germs, Diseases, and Gross Little Creatures

Scroll down for NF Monday.

I’m happy to be hosting Nonfiction Monday. Welcome, everyone. Please post your link in the comment section and I’ll update them throughout the day.

Micro Mania

A Really Close-Up Look at Bacteria, Bedbugs, and the Zillions of Other Gross Little Creatures that Live In, On, and All Around You!

By Jordan D. Brown

Imagine Publishing, 2009; reprint, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1936140473

Ages 9-12


Which leads to:

Plagues, Pox, and Pestilence

By Richard Platt

Illustrated by John Kelly

Kingfisher, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0753466872

Ages 9-12


And then we go on to my take on the topic:

Infections, Infestations, and Diseases

By Shirley Duke

Rourke, 2011

Ages 9-12



Take a closer look at all three books.


“Try not to panic, but there are billions of tiny creatures crawling all over your skin. They are wriggling on your legs, your arms, your nec, your scalp… EVERYWHERE!”

Micro Mania covers the world of bacteria, pests such as fleas and ticks, food pests like ants, roaches, beetles, and moths, along with kitchen bacteria and where they all live and reproduce. Then the information moves to the bedroom and bathroom, with dust mites, bed bugs, and algae. Plankton, krill, and thermophiles round out the mix of these mini creatures that live with us. The book reveals the amazing characteristics of these organisms and presents the information in a medium gross way that should appeal to this age.


Look up information about the life cycle of a flea. Then read about the Bubonic Plague. Write a paragraph explaining what part fleas played in the plague’s transmission.

Read about the flea life cycle here.

Here’s some basic bubonic plague information.


“Do you dare step inside the Pox Lab? In here, we study the history of the world’s most horrible diseases.”

Plagues, Pox, and Pestilence takes the reader deep into the story of diseases in this fascinating book. It includes the story of great epidemics, the people who made history in germs and disease prevention, and how science has provided the technology to fight these invaders today. The final chapter talks about the future of poxes and plagues.

The type adds to the fun of reading this book. It contains a thorough glossary of poxy words and an index. Bright, cartoonish characters add to the action and narration. This is another books kids should love.


Develop a timeline of scientific discoveries using the information from the book.

Here’s a comprehensive example, but it would need to be narrowed to the examples used in the book.



“Where’s the Kleenex?”

“I don’t feel well.”

How many times has a teacher moved back or a mom has hurried to get the thermometer? Or you’ve checked for nits, worried over vaccines, or stayed up most of the night with a sick child? This book is a starting point for kids interested in what makes you sick or those who are curious about the world and themselves.

The first three chapters address the meaning of the title, covering health and illness, infestations, and then diseases. The next chapter continues with how they are spread, prevention and treatment, and eliminated and emerging diseases. The book addresses current topics like bed bugs, HIV, and the H1N1 flu virus. It has a table of contents, glossary, index, and suggested websites to visit.

Health is important to everyone, and eager young scientists and kids alike should enjoy the fascinating facts in the book. Each book in the series has straightforward science and facts presented in an interesting way to readers. I’m writing three new books for Rourke in the coming year. I can’t wait to blog on them, too!

Activity 1

Research how to wash hands properly. Create a poster to display the correct techniques and practice singing happy birthday two times to show children how long they should spend scrubbing them.

The CDC has a child-friendly set of directions.

The Mayo clinic has additional information about dos and don’ts for hand washing.

Activity 2 (for older kids)

Look at the comparisons of hands that have been washed or cleaned in various ways. Draw a conclusion about the most sanitary means of cleaning hands and write a paragraph about how to properly wash hands to remove bacteria.

You can find good information and pictures here.

Here you’ll find more interesting bacteria and hands information.

National Science Standards: biodiversity and humans; growth and development of organisms

Books provided by the individual publishers.

Nonfiction Monday

Take a look at the great entries for today!

GatheringBooks has Reflections on BOY: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl.

Shelf-employed has The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water.

Ana’s Nonfiction Blog has Don’t Let the Barber Pull Your Teeth. She says t’s a fun read about medieval medicine, with lovely illustrations.

Jennifer at Jean Little Library has Everything Sharks for her “Read Scary” month.

Wild About Nature interviews nonfiction writer Phyllis Perry.

Amanda at A Patchwork of Books has Just a Second by Steve Jenkins.

Roberta at Growing With Science reviews Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy, a  Cybils nominee and National Book Award finalist.

Jeff at  NC Teacher Stuff has a review of Voices of World War II: Stories from the Front.

Abby the Librarian has a review of Bootleg by Karen Blumenthal.

Tammy at Apples With Many Seeds has Brave Deeds by Ann Alma.

All About the Books with Janet Squires has Helen Keller: Her Life in Pictures  by George Sullivan.

Jone at Check it Out has Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman.

Heidi at Geo Librarian highlights three great books for introducing global studies or just for fun.

Anastasia at Picture Book of the Day has Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist by Gina Capaldi (Adapter, Illustrator) and Q. L. Pearce (Adapter).

Lynn at Bookends reviews a fun book called A Monster Cookbook by Sarah Schuette that is perfect for Halloween feasts. Take a look–Halloween will be here soon!

 Diane at Practically Paradise  examine ZOMBIES  with a new series from Capstone Press.

Brenda at proseandkahn has Big Wig: a Little History of Hair by Kathleen Krull.

22 Responses to Three For One! Germs, Diseases, and Gross Little Creatures

  1. Zoe says:

    What a great trio of books! I like the idea of your hand washing activity. I was trying to think of a good activity to go with Plagues Pox and Pestilence, but I didn’t really want to deliberately start cultivating bacteria in our kitchen. Have you read the book (for grown ups) A Field Guide to Bacteria (Comstock Book) by Betsy Dexter Dyer – I haven’t, but my husband has and says it is excellent.

  2. [...] Duke presents Germs, Diseases, and Gross Little Creatures posted at SimplyScience Blog, saying, “Disease and the organisms that carry them to people are brought [...]

  3. I managed to get today’s post up before Midnight as I examine ZOMBIES today with new series from Capstone Press at

  4. Brenda Kahn says:

    Perhaps the third try is the charm and my comment will appear? I had the opportunity to choose Big Wig for review and was very excited because I had read plenty of good reviews of it here at Non-Fiction Mondays.


    • Shirley Duke says:

      Here’s the answer. Your comments went to my blog spam for some reason. Usually I am notified, so when I checked this spam, I found your comments. I’m so sorry. I don’t know why it marked your comments that way. I do apologize. I did get you on NF Monday.

  5. Lynn Rutan says:

    Coming in really late but with a fun book called A Monster Cookbook by Sarah Schuette. Perfect for Halloween feasts ;-)

  6. asuen says:

    Thanks for hosting today, Shirley! I’m in with Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist by Gina Capaldi (Adapter, Illustrator) and Q. L. Pearce (Adapter)

  7. Heidi Grange says:

    I highlight three great books for introducing global studies or just for fun.

    Thanks for hosting.

  8. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is “Helen Keller: her life in pictures” written by George Sullivan.

  9. Thanks for looking after today’s event, Shirely.
    I’ve reviewed Brave Deeds by Ann Alma at Apples with Many Seeds.

  10. Abby says:

    Hi Shirley! At Abby the Librarian, I have a review of Bootleg by Karen Blumenthal!

    Thanks for hosting! :D

  11. Hi Shirley! Thank you for hosting today. At NC Teacher Stuff I have posted a review of Voices of World War II: Stories from the Front:

  12. Roberta says:


    What timely books you’ve found, right in time for flu season. :-)

    I reviewed the Cybils nominee and National Book Award finalist Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy

    Thank you for hosting. Hope to see you at STEM Friday. It’s at Growing with Science this week.

  13. Amanda Snow says:

    Thanks for hosting! I have a review of Just a Second by Steve Jenkins over at A Patchwork of Books:


  14. Kim says:

    Wild About Nature blog interviews nonfiction writer, Phyllis Perry.

    Thanks for hosting this week!

  15. I’ve got Everything Sharks for my own “Read Scary” month as well as Nonfiction Monday!

  16. Hello, Shirley. My contribution to Nonfiction Monday is “Don’t Let the Barber Pull Your Teeth.” A fun read for young readers about medieval medicine. Lovely illustrations! It’s at Ana’s NonFiction Blog:
    Thank you for hosting!

  17. It’s an adult book for me today, The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, but it’s a great one! Check it out

  18. Hello! Here’s our Nonfiction Monday contribution over at GatheringBooks – Reflections on BOY: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl.

  19. A timely post with flu season upon us! Thanks for joining in the STEM Friday roundup today. :)

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