The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

Name: Kato

Grade: 12th

Title: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Author: Rebecca Skloot

Published in: 2010

Pages: 381

Rating: 4 stars

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a nonfiction book about a woman named Henrietta Lacks whose cells were taken without her knowledge or consent for medical research in the 1950s. Her cells became one of the most important tools in modern medicine and were used to develop vaccines and treatments for many diseases. However, Henrietta’s family was unaware of her contribution to science until decades later, and they faced many ethical and emotional challenges as a result. The book explores the impact of Henrietta’s cells on science and society, as well as the importance of informed consent and ethical practices in medical research.

I thought the book was a good read. I liked how it talked about a point in history that greatly impacted the modern medical field and the sacrifices and struggles it took to get here. I also fell in love with the characters, the way their story is written feels very personal and I sympathized with them. My favorite character was Joe Lacks, who was a really interesting character that made me deeply fascinated by the book. There are some sensitive topics discussed but I think that only added to the serious but very engaging feel of the book.

I would recommend this book. It is very interesting and tells an important part of our country’s history regarding the medical field. It can be disturbing in some parts but that is only because this book’s job isn’t only to entertain, but to also inform. It is truly unlike anything I have ever read and the only thing stopping it from getting a perfect rating is how the pacing of the book can seem too slow for some readers as the balance between educational reading and storytelling is not quite perfect.

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