Fred & Marjorie – Owlkids

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Fred & Marjorie

By Deborah Kerbel and Angela Poon

From 8 to 12 | 56 pages

A graphic novel for ages 8 to 12 that tells the true story of the life-saving discovery of insulin

"Readers will want to dig deeper into this true story of canine heroes and lifesaving science." — Kirkus Reviews

In 1921, Frederick Banting was a young doctor with an idea: could the mysterious secretions of the pancreas be used to treat diabetes? We now call this substance insulin, and its life-saving discovery was an impactful milestone in medical science.

Banting and his assistant, Charles Best, worked together in a small lab to test the theory with street dogs. Banting formed a special bond with one of his test dogs and gave her a name: Marjorie. After Marjorie responded well to insulin treatments, the treatments went on to be used for humans with diabetes—and the results were deemed practically miraculous.

A real-life scientific milestone told in an innovative graphic novel format, the book also thoughtfully discusses the use of animals for medical research, including back matter on the subject and further information about diabetes.

Deborah Kerbel, Angela Poon

"Chronicles a medical breakthrough that has saved the lives of millions of children ... A laudably frank, sensitive account."

- School Library Journal - STARRED REVIEW

"In both the writing and artwork, this is a story effectively told in an attractive and accessible way."

- Booklist

"Readers will want to dig deeper into this true story of canine heroes and lifesaving science."

- Kirkus Reviews

"This book is a great introduction to a topic that many readers might not be aware of ... A great addition."

- School Library Connection
"A remarkably fascinating and poignant story ... A great STEM book." - The Picture Book Buzz

"A delightful graphic novel biography ... Kerbel and illustrator Poon make great use of the graphic medium to convey details in pictures."

- Canadian Review of Materials

"[A] heartwarming story about how insulin was discovered as a treatment for diabetes."

- Kiss the Book
A Junior Library Guild Selection, 2021
Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2022
Ontario Library Association Best Bets List Honourable Mention, 2021
Best Graphic Novels for Children Reading List, 2021
A Best Children's Book of the Year, 2022
Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2022
Rocky Mountain Book Award, 2023
Red Cedar Book Awards, 2023

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