4 out of 4 stars
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Eagle Woman’s Bones by Eelonqa K. Harris is a picture book that helps explain how cancer works to children. The story centers around two chromosomes, Eleven and Fourteen, who live inside Eagle Woman and help her stay strong. When the chromosomes get into an accident, they somehow swap arms, which prevents them from doing their regular jobs. Because of this, Eagle Woman becomes sick and must seek medical help.
Since I have previously reviewed a book by this author, I expected big things from this one, and I wasn’t let down. The author makes every figure used in the book and takes photos of them to create the scenes pictured. I loved how she interwove the science into both the illustrations and the story by personifying chromosomes. The science included managed to be both generally accurate and at a level that many children could understand. I also liked how the book focused on hope for the future by telling kids that Eagle Woman is seeking treatment and that proceeds from buying the book can help scientists find a treatment that works for her.
My only complaint about this book is that the ending felt a little abrupt. The last page implies that the story will now begin, but then it ends. I felt like this could confuse children who are thinking they will get to know if Eagle Woman has beaten her cancer. However, the author does include a short explanation of her relationship with Eagle Woman, who is a real person, and how she is doing now at the end of the book. This may help kids understand that the story in the book is a real one for many people.
Overall, I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Although I was a little confused by the last page, that doesn’t merit a star being removed, especially because the book appears to have been professionally edited. Between the beautiful illustrations that integrate photos of the characters with digital backgrounds and the age-appropriate messages about the science behind cancer, I can’t find a reason to take away a star from this book.
I would recommend this book for parents of children ages 4 to 10, especially those who have a close friend or family member battling cancer. I think this book would be a great aid in explaining how cancer works in the body and in giving kids hope for the future.
Eagle Woman's Bones
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