Friday, May 13, 2022

Fred & Marjorie: ...the Discovery of Insulin by Deborah Kerbel and Angela Poon - ADVISABLE

 Fred & Marjorie: A Doctor, A Dog, and the Discovery of Insulin by Deborah Kerbel, illustrated by Angela Poon. 54 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL, NON-FICTION. Owlkids Books, 2021. $19. ISBN 9781771474115 

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: PG (animal testing, diabetes); Violence: G 



It’s fall of 1920. Fred Banting, a young surgeon and animal lover, who recently finished up his residency at Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, comes up with a great idea for how to treat juvenile diabetes, which up to this point is a deadly disease. Fred and student assistant, Charles Best, are given a small lab at the University of Toronto to test their theory on stray dogs. Marjorie, one of the strays, plays an essential part, as she is the dog who lives the longest without a pancreas, leading to the belief that insulin is indeed a life saving treatment for diabetes. 

 This heartwarming story about how insulin was discovered as a treatment for diabetes was such a cute read. The illustrations are simple and realistic looking. There is not too much going on on each page, which I think makes a good graphic novel. The spine, which only shows Fred & Marjorie, is not going to sell this book on its own, but anyone with a connection to diabetes will surely love this story, as well as those interested in the sciences and discovery of cures. Animal lovers should be aware. The dogs are heroes, but they do die. At the end of the story is included an author’s note that gives both a history of diabetes, but also describes the ethical dilemma of animal testing. 

Reviewer: J. Rosskopf

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