There’s no doubt Vivien Thomas’ story is historically significant, but his journey toward developing a groundbreaking procedure for pediatric open-heart surgery is also dramatic and incredibly moving. Gwendolyn Hooks writes in a clear, engaging manner, and her words are enhanced by the watercolor paintings of illustrator Colin Bootman. TINY STITCHES, intended for readers 8 and up, would make a great addition to your home, school or church library.
I am giving away one signed copy of TINY STITCHES to a lucky U.S. winner. (I’ll even throw in a signed copy of my own book, Ghostlight, to sweeten the pot.) Read more about TINY STITCHES below, and then enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
More about the book:
Vivien Thomas’s greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream.
As Dr. Blalock’s research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien s name did not appear in the report.
Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine children s heart surgery. Tiny Stitches is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine.
What reviewers are saying:
Beyond the crucial message of perseverance and spotlight on prejudiced attitudes that still resonate today, this middle-grade picture book illuminates the life of little-known man whose innovations continue to be essential to modern medicine. —Booklist, starred review
By focusing on the enormous talent and skill of Thomas and depicting instances in which he was dismissed by white coworkers and by the media, the text is an insight into not only this innovator’s life but the social and institutional conditions that allow for African American contributions in medicine and science to go largely unrecognized. —School Library Journal
A good alternative to dense, chapter biographies and a rousing tribute to a man unjustly forgotten. —Kirkus Reviews
Hooks writes with vivid detail and immediacy, describing Thomas’s anxiety as he coaches Dr. Blalock, the doctor who originally hired him, on performing the first surgery. Bootman’s subdued watercolors channel the sobering climate of Depression-era America in a sensitive portrayal of a little-recognized medical pioneer. —Publishers Weekly
The Giveaway! (US entrants only, please!)