Reviewed by Claudia Fetters
retired biology and earth science teacher
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are becoming an increasingly serious problem, infecting not only hospitals and nursing homes but now gyms and locker rooms. Superbugs Strike Back clearly and succinctly explains the problem, its causes, and what we can do to prevent it from getting worse. It will hold the interest of junior high and high school students and give them all the information they need to understand the topic.
The book, an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2008, is colorful and easy to read with a glossary, bibliography, and further reading included. The photomicrographs of the bacteria discussed are fascinating to look at. The book addresses the basics of bacteria and clearly explains the difference between gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Details on the methods of reproduction help clarify the roots of antibiotic resistance. Several examples (MRSA, streptococcus, and drug-resistant tuberculosis) are highlighted.
The history of antibiotic development and the arrival of drug-resistant forms of bacteria are also described. There is excellent coverage of the effect of antibiotics in the food chain and how that worsens the problem. This book takes a serious tone but is not alarmist. It will be an excellent reference for students in biology and health. It could be used in an independent reading assignment or as a source of background for current events.
Review posted on 5/7/2007