Thursday, April 5, 2012

11. Shortcomings?

The book was good, but it had some chapters that weren't as interesting to read. The entire book used a lot of science terms because the topic was about cells. I enjoyed the book, but this isn't my favorite type of genre so sometimes I wouldn't be interested in the chapter.

10. Praiseworthy?

There were many good chapters of the book. In the end it showed that the use of Henrietta's cells helped the future of medicine. Many new advancements have developed from this study. Throughout the book the reader continued to learn more about how useful the cells would become to the future and that made the book a good read.

9. Theme

The theme of the book was to inform more people about what had happened. Many people knew about this event, but they didn't have much information about the subject until this book was published. After reading the book people have a different understanding of everything that occurred. They can understand the feelings of the family and also know how much this has helped advance medicine. The author wanted to research this so people could learn more about the subject.

8. Compare and Contrast

Last semester I read the book "The Glass Castle." This semester I chose the book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." They were both good books with a purpose to inform the reader. They were both mainly focused on one major character and then on many minor characters. The books are both nonfiction so they both tell a story about a real event that occurs. They can both relate in the same way that each family had difficulties. They have many similarities along with differences. Some differences were the subject each book revolved around. "The Glass Castle" focused on the character's family constantly moving from place to place with little support from the parents. The book I just read is about science. It explains the use of cells that have helped future sciences. They had different events occur along with a different conclusion in each book.

7. Three Major Incidents

1.) Rebecca Skloot, the author learning about the use of Henrietta's cells while in college. This is a major event because as she learned more about the cells, she became more interested in the subject. She wanted to learn more and that's what she did as she wrote this book and also helped the family learn more about what had happened.
2.) Henrietta learning she was sick and the doctors took some of her cells without her permission. This is where the story begins because readers get a better understanding of when the events occurred. This shows the doctors wanted some of her cells to get more research completed, since the use of other cells failed.
3.) The last important event is her family learning more about what occurred for so many years without their knowledge. They needed to know about everything that had happened to Henrietta's cells as they were continuously sold and tested. They did learn that her cell's were used to invent new medicines that help people today.

6. Most Important to the Story

The element that is most important to the story is the character. Henrietta is the main character because it is about doctors using her cells for research. The book explains everything that occurred. It also describes all the medicines and advancements used today. The character helped all this happen even though her family might not have been treated fairly. Before the use of her cells doctors attempted this on other cells, but it never worked. With the use of the cells new medicines have been invented to help people stay healthy.

5. Mood of the Book

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is both a sad, but serious book. The mood occasionally changed as chapters explained different events that occurred. "Doctors took her cells without asking." (Skloot) After Henrietta became sick, doctors took her cells without permission. The family was unaware of everything that occurred when they should have been the first to know what was going on. "...her cells helped make blood pressure medicines and antidepression pills and how all this important stuff in science happened because of her." (Skloot) Her cells helped create medicines that save people today and help people stay healthy. "...had stolen their mother's cells and made millions selling them." (Skloot) The family never had much and when they learned about people selling the cells, they became upset. They didn't have much money, while scientists were making a lot of money with the use of the cells.

4. The Author

The author of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" seems like a caring person from reading this book. She is interested in subjects like science as she explained in the book. "... without explaining anything and left the family worrying." (Skloot) She not only wanted to learn more about this study, but wanted to help the family. "...While writing this book, I conducted more than a thousand hours of interviews with family and friends of Henrietta Lacks..." (Skloot) She sounds like a dedicated person because she spent a lot of time to research information for this book.

3. Author's Purpose

The author's purpose in writing "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" was to inform. She wanted to explain all that had occurred with the cells of Henrietta, while her family was unaware of everything happening. "They truly had no idea what was going on, and they really wanted to understand." (Skloot) The family was unaware of all the testing that had been done using Henrietta's cells. They did not give anyone permission to use her cells for testing and this book's purpose is to inform not only her family, but everyone else about what had been going on for so many years. "It was so clear they hadn't been treated well." (Skloot) The author wanted to help the family learn more about the cell's as she researched more. The doctors did not tell them much because they knew they didn't have permission to use the cells for testing.

2. Why I chose this book?

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" was recommended to me by a friend. I decided I would read it because it involves a lot of science, which I am interested in. Other people suggested I read this book too. I chose it because so many people had good things to say about this book.

1. "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Broadway; Reprint edition. March 8, 2011.