Just as in another book in the series that I read, Bethany Barton’s I’m Trying to Love Germs (Viking Books, 2023) is a story told in alternating voices, this time between a human and a microscopic germ, this time teaching the reader basic facts about microorganisms. It includes interactive elements, such as “just move your thumb and index finger away from each other to zoom in closer.” With plenty of light-hearted conversation amid the ample details, Barton’s contribution to books about microbes is a must-have for those studying this subject.
I loved that this book differentiated between microbes and pathogens, explaining the difference between those terms and the generic “germ.” It explains why the title should be “I’m Trying to Love Microbes,” for example. Pages show what pathogens look like, the impact pathogens have on humans, and types of good viruses, fungi, bateria, and protozoa. It’s a perfect book to accompany lessons about the lingering of Coronavirus and how to avoid getting sick in general, as well.
The nice blend of details and humor makes I’m Trying to Love Germs an ideal nonfiction book for the upper elementary reader. I think it would even work well for a read-aloud. Not all the details are necessary to keep up the flow of reading, but you won’t want to skip: it’s fun and information at the same time.