Red Madness

Red MadnessRed Madness by Gail Jarrow
Published by: Calkins Creek
Release Date: 1 April 2014
Pages: 192
Genres: Non-fiction
Recommended For: Grades 6 - 10
Submitted by: Renata Sancken


How far would you go to prove a theory you had? Would you completely change your diet? Would you inject yourself with a sick person’s blood? Would you eat poop?

A doctor named Joseph Goldberger and his fellow researchers did all of that and more, to help cure a disease called pellagra. You guys probably haven’t heard of pellagra, because Dr. Goldberger and other scientists did an awesome job curing it so now it’s a very rare disease.

It’s a good thing that pellagra is cured, too, because it’s a really horrible disease. It causes a rash, diarrhea, and hallucinations, and ultimately, death. But before 1916, no one could agree on what caused it or how to treat it. Some people thought corn caused it; some people thought sugar caused it; some people thought it was contagious…and people kept dying from it while doctors were trying to figure it out.

If you’re interested in science or gross medical stuff, check out Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat by Gail Jarrow.

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