Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas

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9781620141564: Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas

Vivien Thomas's greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream.

As Dr. Blalock s research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien s name did not appear in the report.

Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine children s heart surgery. Tiny Stitches is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine."

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About the Author:

Gwendolyn Hooks was born in Savannah, Georgia. Thanks to her Air Force dad, she also lived in Texas, Washington, and Italy. After teaching middle school math, Gwendolyn decided to follow her passion, writing for children. In her vocabulary, fun means travel. She's visited England, Belgium, Canada, and Mexico. Her favorite travel spot? The state parks of Oklahoma. Gwendolyn loves visiting schools and libraries, sharing her writing life with students, teachers, librarians, and parents. If she ever needs inspiration, Gwendolyn remembers the wacky antics of her three children growing up.

Colin Bootman was born in Trinidad where he spent the first seven years of his life. During this time, he was inspired by the island s rich and diverse culture. Soon after moving to the United States, Mr. Bootman embraced art as a measure of escape from the pressures of adjusting to a new environment at an early age. Mr. Bootman cites finding his first comic book as the life-changing experience that marked the beginning of his career as an artist.

Mr. Bootman began formal training at LaGuardia High School of the Arts, which served to deepen his appreciation for other disciplines, and solidified his own passion for the visual arts. In college, Mr. Bootman studied photography, writing, and illustration, honing his skills under the tutelage of professional artists. Mr. Bootman was encouraged to pursue children s book art, as it allowed him the freedom to express himself through various media. Ultimately, the instructors at the School of Visual Arts prepared Mr. Bootman for the challenges of working as a professional illustrator.

Mr. Bootman s first book, "Young Frederick Douglass", was published in 1994 and received starred reviews. He has since illustrated many children s books, textbooks, periodicals, and book covers. Mr. Bootman has worked with several publishers including Random House ("Follow the Leader"), Harper Collins ("In My Momma s Kitchen"), Scholastic ("Oh, No, Toto!"), and Holiday House ("Papa s Mark"). Mr. Bootman is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Honor 2004, the Schneider Family Book Award 2006, the Ashley Bryan Lifetime Achievement Honor 2006, and several others. His books have won such awards as The Teachers Choice Award, The Comstock Award, The Storytelling World Award, The Golden Kite Honor, and many others. Mr. Bootman s first written and Illustrated book ("Fish For The Grand Lady"), debuted in the fall of 2006. In addition to illustrating Mr. Bootman enjoys teaching and presenting to students throughout the country.

Mr. Bootman credits the lively rhythms and vibrant palette of Trinidad with leaving an indelible mark on his creative expression. He continues to grow as an artist as he welcomes the challenges that each new project invites. As Mr. Bootman s work serves to inspire both early readers and future artists alike, he hopes to encourage young minds to embrace and follow their passions.

Review:

Vivien Thomas (1910 1985) combined imagination, skilled dexterity, and hard-won medical knowledge to develop tools and techniques for successful open heart surgery on babies. His life and work are vivid in the pages of this picture book biography, in which Hooks details how his youthful work in fine carpentry, paired with his desire to become a doctor, propelled Thomas in his pursuit of his goals. In addition to the challenges facing any medical researcher, Thomas also endured such obstacles as the economic devastation of the Great Depression, unequal treatment as a black research assistant, the challenge of finding housing in the Jim Crow South, and the failure to be recognized for his monumental contributions to the field of neonatal heart surgery. It is the work Thomas achieved, however, in spite of these enormous challenges, that will pique reader interest as they learn about his design of tiny operating tools and his role guiding surgeons through neonatal operations. Bootman s lifelike watercolor illustrations beautifully and vividly evoke the carpentry shop, research labs, and auditorium where, years later, Thomas was finally honored for his work and appointed to the faculty at Johns Hopkins. Beyond the crucial message of perseverance and spotlight on prejudiced attitudes that still resonate today, this middle-grade picture book illuminates the life of little-known man whose innovations continue to be essential to modern medicine. --Booklist, starred review

Tiny Stitches Review By Kirkus Reviews Hooks (The Noisy Night, 2014, etc.) and Bootman (Hey, Charleston!, 2013, etc.) illuminate the trials and triumphs of Vivien Thomas and his vital role in the development of children's open-heart surgery. Unable to attend medical school due to the Great Depression, Vivien (as Hooks styles him) takes a job as a research assistant at Vanderbilt University under Dr. Alfred Blalock, who is so impressed with Vivien's surgical skill that he insists Vivien accompany him when he accepts a new position at Johns Hopkins in 1941. Despite the constant prejudice of the segregated hospital, Vivien researches and designs an operation to correct the fatal child heart defect known as "blue babies" syndrome an operation that would come to save thousands of children's lives and for which Vivien himself can only serve as a coach because only white staff may perform surgery. After more than 26 years without public recognition for his revolutionary contributions, Vivien receives an honorary doctorate in 1976, realizing his dream at last. Told candidly with a touch of gravitas, Vivien's story deftly presents complex social and medical issues along with the gently insistent message of perseverance. Bootman's full-page watercolors and muted palette gracefully bring emotional life to Vivien's personal and clinical scenes alike never has hospital green been so poignant. A good alternative to dense, chapter biographies and a rousing tribute to a man unjustly forgotten. (notes, glossary, references) --Kirkus Reviews

Vivien Thomas had long strived to become a doctor, but after losing his college savings in the stock market crash of 1929, he instead took a job as a research technician at Vanderbilt University. As an African-American, Thomas s title was officially janitor. Despite persistent racial prejudice, Thomas devised a means to perform open-heart surgery on blue babies who were not getting enough oxygen, a procedure that would save the lives of many infants. Hooks writes with vivid detail and immediacy, describing Thomas s anxiety as he coaches Dr. Blalock, the doctor who originally hired him, on performing the first surgery. Bootman s subdued watercolors channel the sobering climate of Depression-era America in a sensitive portrayal of a little-recognized medical pioneer. --Publishers Weekly

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Book Description Lee Low Books, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Colin Bootman (illustrator). 269 x 224 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Vivien Thomas s greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream. As Dr. Blalock s research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien s name did not appear in the report. Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine--children s heart surgery. Tiny Stitches is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781620141564

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Book Description Lee Low Books, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Colin Bootman (illustrator). 269 x 224 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Vivien Thomas s greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream. As Dr. Blalock s research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien s name did not appear in the report. Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine--children s heart surgery. Tiny Stitches is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781620141564

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