Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster (Dutton, 2002)

Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster: The Search for the Smallpox Vaccine

Albert Marrin

Smallpox was brought to the new world by the Spaniards. The peoples of the Americas had never been exposed to its virus. The superior numbers of the Aztecs, in what is now Mexico, was not enough to beat Cortes and his men who had carried a disease they had developed immunity to as children. However, it decimated the people who had no resistance to the deadly virus that transmitted it. Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster traces the history of this disease and the important work of Edward Jenner in the 18th century to conquer this scourge. Dr. Jenner’s pioneering work invented vaccination as a means for ultimately protecting people against diseases that could have killed them.


... Before reading this book I might have written that I was informed about Dr. Jenner, smallpox and its history. After reading it I realize how ignorant I was... The reader learns of the treatment of smallpox prior to Jenner; of the various experiments leading to the development of the vaccination; of the objections by recognized leaders to Jenner's work and the ramifications of the eradication of smallpox. This is a thrilling story for the young scientist, but the book is written so well that all children (and adults) will be enthralled.

—Amazon Review

This was a remarkable book. The author was able to explain microbiology, immunology, the history of smallpox, and the development of a vaccine with wonderful clarity. I highly recommend this book for kids (and adults) in 4th grade and up!

—Amazon Review