Valley Cottage Library's Reviews > The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
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's review
Aug 05, 11

bookshelves: katie-pick, nonfiction

This is not your typical book about illness or laboratory science or medical cures. Rebecca Skloot seemlessly incorporates the story of Henrietta Lacks and her family with comprehensible explanations of the science that her cells helped to create.

Henrietta's story is a sad one. While getting treatments for cervical cancer at the age of 31, a surgeon took a sample of Henrietta's cancer cells, without her knowledge. Her cells grew at an alarming rate and were eventually used as the basis for research on the Polio vaccine, the effects of radiation on the human body, and numerous medications and treatments.

This book discusses issues of family, science, ethics and racism. It is beautifully written and a truly interesting story.

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