Tu Youyou’s Discovery Finding A Cure for Malaria is written by Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrated by Lin. This informative and fascinating nonfiction book tells the story of Tu Youyou. The story begins with Tu Youyou as a little girl growing up in China. She discovers a passion for medicine after becoming ill with tuberculosis. She is inspired to learn more about traditional and modern medicine after recovering from this disease.
As she got older, she began to have a strong interest in learning more about Malaria and finding a cure. She begins to experiment with qinghao, a plant that has been used to treat fever in the past. Tu Youyou spent many years experimenting and determined to find a cure for this deadly disease. Through her persistence and determination, Tu Youyou and her team discover a cure and Tu becomes the first Chinese woman to receive the Nobel prize.
This book is beautifully written and easy for young readers to follow along. In the back of the book, is a timeline and more information about this brilliant scientist. I loved this book because it shows how Tu Youyou never gave up even when others doubted her. It also shows her humbleness when signing her team’s name instead of her name on the research papers. This shows the kind of person Tu Youyou is and is very admirable for both young readers and adults.
To learn more about Tu Youyou, click here.
Language and Learning Tips
There are so many wonderful learning opportunities in this book! As you are reading talk about Tu Youyou’s passion for science. What are your children or students motivated by? What would they like to find a cure for? Discuss the definition of a cure and vaccination. These should be familiar words given the COVID-19 pandemic. Discuss how Tu Youyou felt throughout the book. Her emotions change throughout the book. How does she feel when the trials fail? How does this affect her moving forward? What is the Nobel prize and why did she receive it?
Do your own experiment at home! Have your child find a plant in the backyard and mix it with water, as Tu Youyou did. Talk about different temperatures of the water and how this might affect the overall solution. This is what Tu Youyou did to find a cure!
To learn more, watch this short video!