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The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins
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The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  214 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Winner of the Magnolia Award


HP Newquist takes young readers on an engaging tour of the world of blood, from
ancient history to modern science—with an occasional trip to the very strange side of
the most important tissue in our bodies. Oddly enough, scientists began to understand
this fascinating fluid only within the past one hundred years and how its microscopic
components n
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Sep 22, 2012 Jeanne rated it really liked it
I read this one with the idea that I need to add more non-fiction to my reading diet in order to better assist my teachers with finding informational text for Common Core. I had no idea that I would find such a wonderfully engaging and informative read about blood. I learned about its religious siginificance, historical advancements, functions in the body, etc., etc., etc. I actually found myself laughing out loud or speaking, "Ah, ha!" at points. The prose is packed full of information and stat ...more
Feb 05, 2014 M. rated it liked it
I'd give this 4 stars, or maybe 3 1/2. This nonfiction book gives all sorts of information about blood, from its history in medical practices (mostly bloodletting) to current medical understanding to oddities (blue, yellow, and green blood; vampire bats which drink blood; and horned toads which shoot blood out of their eyes) to mythology (a history of vampires and other mythological blood suckers). There are a plethora of facts and I found myself studying the book as though I were going to have ...more
Suzanne Dix
Mar 13, 2013 Suzanne Dix rated it really liked it
Equal parts gruesome, entertaining and enlightening, this book will appeal to fans of horror fiction, medical advances and historical trivia. Well-written with short chapters, this book will add a high-interest read to your nonfiction stacks. Topics such as the practice of bloodletting demonstrate just how slowly the medical field advanced through the centuries. Students will find the blood spatter page design visually stimulating as well as the numerous images and charts throughout the book.

Jan 02, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it
My wife (the librarian) ordered this book for me based purely on the title, assuming it would be horror-related and right up my morbid alley. It turns out this is a science book targeting the 10-14 year-old crowd -- oops! Even so, I was captivated. Maybe it has just been too long since I've taken an anatomy class, but revisiting the importance of blood and our evolving understanding over time was fun. Plus, who knew the blood of the horseshoe crab was so valuable to the medical community? Want t ...more
Jul 31, 2016 Annelisa rated it liked it
Shelves: miscellaneous
Good; contains a lot of information about the role and function of blood, as well as its cultural significance. Nonetheless, I find it strange that a book discussing blood contains nothing about Dr. Charles Drew, or sickle cell disease, especially for young adult readers. That annoyed me quite a bit. It's an okay start, but I would suggest more in the way of supplemental material.
Jan 26, 2013 Peter rated it really liked it
An interesting book that was both educational and understandable. A good choice for anyone interested in learning a little more about the precious fluid that keeps us alive but not so much interested in a career in the phlebotomic sciences.
Edward Sullivan
Do not read this book if you are squeamish about blood! You may faint at the sight of it. An impressively designed and handsomely illustrated mix of fascinating information from myth, science, and social history.
Jul 02, 2012 Kara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science

This is NOT a book for those who feel squeamish about blood and needles!

A fascinating, thorough book covering the science, history, mythology, and current use and study of blood.
Libby P.
Jan 13, 2017 Libby P. rated it liked it
I decided to read this book because the topic of medical science is very interesting to me. The book cover was very intriguing and other people who have read this book say they have liked it.
From bloodletting to the makeup of the blood in our bodies this book covers many various topics about blood. The Book of Blood has many pictures with captions to help better understand the pictures. The large majority of this book is about the science behind blood with some interesting historical stories an
Dec 22, 2012 Ken rated it liked it
I wanted to give my classroom library a nonfiction infusion (if you'll forgive), so I purchased this recommended book for its gore appeal. Al as in Invented the Internet? Albert as in Hall? No, no. GORE as in blood. Middle school kids go for the "yuck factor" in a big way.

Author Newquist gives us soup to nuts, only sometimes the nuts aren't meaty enough. This is the danger when you try to cover all the angles of something as complex as blood in 147 pages. A little history, a little science, a li
Oct 27, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it
I was drawn to The Book Of Blood by HP Newquist initially by the intriguing cover which is dripping blood. By the title, I expected the book to be about blood. The subtitle From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins threw me off a little. Since it was in the 600s section of Dewey, I expected it to be about blood as a part of the body. I wondered how Newquist would drag in Legends and Vampires to a factual book about blood.

The book begins with an overview that explains what blood is, its colo
Mrs. Mullarky
Jan 13, 2017 Mrs. Mullarky rated it really liked it
Even though I am squeamish, I picked up this book in order to get out of my comfort zone. Usually I am drawn to narrative nonfiction stories that read like fiction -- specifically memoirs. I thought I should try and read more science-based books, so I read The Book of Blood, Stiff, and It's Getting Hot in Here (a book about climate change) during our non-fiction unit in my eighth grade classroom.

This book starts with a basic overview of the circulatory system. As it had been a few years since I
Melissa Mcavoy
May 10, 2012 Melissa Mcavoy rated it it was amazing
Reviewed from an ARC. It’s hard to find an individual who is blasé about blood. This elemental fluid has deep resonance in virtually every culture. The Book of Blood tackles the fascination, importance and ick-factor of blood in an astonishing and comprehensive exploration of its importance in us and to us. In a conversational tone we are given a solid understanding of the complex makeup of blood. The accessible metaphor of a milkshake is used. Sensational headings, which look as if they were wr ...more
Aug 03, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, ncbla2013
Filled with great photographs and illustrations and an attractive design in which drops of blood appear to have dripped onto the book's pages and flooded onto the chapter introductory sections, this title is certainly not for the squeamish. In fact, one of the very first photographs shows a hand covered with blood. The writing is just as, um, savory, filled with clever puns as the author wittily describes blood's place in our languages and our cultures. In the book's eleven chapters, the author ...more
Sep 15, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013-reads
Houghton Mifflin pulls a bit of a bait and switch with this one, giving a lovely and creepifying design (and, I notice, a just pre-Halloween release date) and ambiguous subtitle to what's basically a straight-forward medical text for kids. I'm quite sure I'm not the only one who came to this looking for a bit more of the Plagues! Vampires! Gross Stuff! and less of a description of the circulatory system, but really it's only my disappointed expectations that keep this from being three stars. The ...more
Jun 26, 2013 Paula rated it really liked it
Everything you ever wanted to know about blood can be found in this nifty volume. The text is much chattier and more engaging than a textbook. It covers the functioning of the circulatory system, the intricate composition of blood and its importance in human well-being. A nice narrative explains man’s fascination with blood from earliest times and the myths, folklore, religious beliefs and rituals associated with blood. Readers will also discover the evolution of medical practices relating to bl ...more
Emily Parsons
Apr 14, 2016 Emily Parsons rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed learning about blood in this book. It had many different sections on how blood is carried around inside our bodies, to myths and legends, and even vampires and crazy countesses who were obsessed with consuming and bathing in blood. The illustrations were both historic and scientific and I enjoyed learning about blood culture and how important was and is to us. I think that this would be an awesome book to use to introduce readers to non-fiction. You don't have to read the entire ...more
Erin O'Riordan
This book will fascinate readers (the intended age range is 10-14) interested in how the human body works. It focuses mainly on the science, but also explores a little bit of the mythology that's historically been associated with blood. Most of the science will be familiar to the average adult, but I learned a few fascinating tidbits about the blood of some other species, such as the horseshoe crab. The book is designed to look as if the pages were splashed with blood, so if you're very squeamis ...more
Jan 26, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, non-fiction
If you ask me what I thought about the red stuff gushing throughout my body before reading TBOB. I would have said, not much. Blood like the wind is the sort of system that facilitates numerous functions, yet by and large, goes on unnoticed.

Remarkable, isn't it? There is so little the average person knows about the substance that transfers oxygen, to keep us breathing, fights off diseases and carries the nutrients from our diet to where they are needed.

The history of blood as told within is chi
Dec 15, 2013 Marissa rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It talked about how ancient cultures used blood and what they thought it ways. It discussed how our knowledge of blood has increased exponentially. The book also included interesting stories about animals, famous people, and vampires. This book was unique and very attention grabbing for someone who's interested in the medical field and it's past. I would recommend this people who are not squeamish when they hear the word "blood" like history and enjoy anything medical ...more
This is an interesting book for kids. It discusses how people through the years understood blood and how they treated it. In an ancient times,the Egyptians had the best understanding of. blood. Some Greeks tried to learn more but cultural constraints in Greek and Roman society refused to allow dissections of bodies. Time marched on and only in the last 200 years did research in bodies really pick up. The book. oversea the science and cultural beliefs about blood,including blood letting for disea ...more
Todd Allen
Apr 21, 2015 Todd Allen rated it liked it
The book outlines the cultural and scientific history of human blood. The discussions specific to the history of phlebotomy and blood transfusions I found especially interesting. A decent portion of the book is a refresher on the biology of human blood and the physiological systems supporting it, and supported by it.
I definitely recommend it. I would've given it four stars but the Kindle version I got from my library had multiple spelling errors and grammatical mistakes.
Interesting facts about blood, some I didn’t know. Much focus on the history of knowledge about blood. Also some on legends and lore.
Chapters are: Real blood; The mystery inside; Making progress, Smaller than sand; Making blood; Where the blood flows; The blood’s battleground; Red blood, blue blood, clear blood, cold blood; The creeps; The undead; Flowing, but not freely. Bibliography.
Many illustrations that make it even more interesting.
Jul 25, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Great narrative nonfiction for middle or high school. Traces the history of blood, including religious beliefs, superstitions and the possible origins of those beliefs. The middle half of the book traces blood and its purpose throughout the body. The last section of the book deals with vampire myths and the creatures who really do live on blood. Great NF text to include in Science classes and engaging enough to read for fun.
Tyler Bankston
This was a very intriguing book. I learned so many cool facts about the blood and it's history. It's definitely been a wonder in all time periods, with plenty of stories to support the awe and questions behind it's power. Newquist did such a wonderful job getting you hooked with a good mix of both fact and folklore based on the wonder of blood.
Feb 17, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
The design makes it seem like a book about the creepy aspects of blood, which the book does address, from vampires to blood's use in mysterious religious rituals. However, the bulk of the book explains what blood does in the human body, why it's important, and how its uses and makeup were discovered by scientists. Good resource for basic research and also an interesting read.
Mary Stovall
I think this book is very educational and does a great job of making the biology and science of how blood works interesting. I liked that the book tied in a lot of myths and legends our fascination with blood has grown and what blood meant in ancient times as well as the not so distant past. This is a great book to have in classroom or to have to teach in a science classroom.
Apr 16, 2016 Shelby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, rdng-648
This nonfiction book is full of information both fact and legend about blood. It features full color photographs and a bloody design theme. Just edgy enough to capture the attention of reluctant readers!
Aug 08, 2013 Joan rated it it was amazing
A little bit of history, a little bit of legend, a little bit of gore, and a whole lot of science - The Book of Blood is a non-stop informative book with plenty of great (sometimes gruesome) pictures.
Jan 03, 2013 Leigh rated it really liked it
Plenty of photographs, illustrations and clear explanations make this a book kids will want to read. There are some graphic photographs, though, so it's not for the squeamish. (The photo on p101 of the infected brain is especially graphic)
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HP Newquist's books and articles have been published all over the world, and his writing has been translated into languages from kanji to farsi.
All told, he has written more than two dozen books and hundreds of articles, along with numerous awards and citations.

His writing spans a vast array of interests and issues. In the late 1980s and 1990s he wrote extensively about artificial intelligence (A
More about H.P. Newquist...

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