Shot in the Arm! Big Ideas that Changed the World #3

A Shot in the Arm!

Big Ideas that Changed the World #3

  • ISBN: 9781647000905
  • Publication Date: April 20, 2021


Price: $7.19

Award-winning author and illustrator Don Brown explores the history of vaccines from smallpox to COVID-19 in this installment of the Big Ideas That Changed the World graphic novel series.

A Shot in the Arm! explores the history of vaccinations and the struggle to protect people from infectious diseases, from smallpox—perhaps humankind’s greatest affliction to date—to the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlighting deadly diseases such as measles, polio, rabies, cholera, and influenza, Brown tackles the science behind how our immune systems work, the discovery of bacteria, the anti-vaccination movement, and major achievements from Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who popularized inoculation in England, and from scientists like Louis Pasteur, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, and Edward Jenner, the "father of immunology." Timely and fascinating, A Shot in the Arm! is a reminder of vaccines’ contributions to public health so far, as well as the millions of lives they can still save.

Big Ideas That Changed the World is a graphic novel series that celebrates the hard-won succession of ideas that ultimately changed the world. Humor, drama, and art unite to tell the story of events, discoveries, and ingenuity over time that led humans to come up with a big idea and then make it come true.

Read them all!
Rocket to the Moon!
Machines That Think!
A Shot in the Arm!
We the People!
All Charged Up!


"Thoroughly researched and fascinating, this effort concludes with outstanding backmatter for a rich, accurate examination of the critical role of vaccines. Essential." 
Kirkus Reviews

“The arrival of ‘A Shot in the Arm!’ couldn’t be more timely. . . This fascinating and enlightening journey takes us around the world and introduces us to a range of scientific superstars of germ theory and vaccination development. . . The author’s goals are clear and vitally important, and the delivery is lively and engaging.”
The New York Times

"Brown could be considered the format’s premiere historian for young readers; his exhaustive research is always coupled with an understanding of human motivation and an inviting, unostentatious visual style, all while connecting the past to the world we live in now." 

"Brown’s readers will be ready to contextualize the rapid pace of contemporary research, the calculated risk and anticipated rewards for the first COVID-19 vaccine users, and the repeating theme of public welfare vs. individual rights, as hotly debated now as in the past." 
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Shedding light on a topic that’s all too timely, this thorough chronicle of vaccination is essential." 
School Library Journal

"Brown’s typical loose pen and watercolor illustrations, including single pages, double-page spreads, and varied panel layouts, make this well-researched volume—part history, part science— engagingly easy to read." 
The Horn Book Magazine

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Don Brown talks about the research behind the book

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