Fall 2023


Katalin Karikó and the mRNA Vaccine

  • Interest Level: Grade 7 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, scientist Katalin Karikó was one of the few people who believed in the potential of mRNA to help cells fight off disease.

Breakthrough chronicles Karikó’s relentless pursuit of knowledge and dedication to helping people, depicting her as an inspirational figure for readers interested in science. The book contextualizes Karikó’s work within her upbringing in a small village in rural Hungary, the discrimination she faced as an immigrant and woman scientist, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Accessible descriptions of the science behind mRNA support the main narrative, and profiles of other significant figures in the development of the mRNA vaccine illustrate how scientific achievement is never earned alone.

Format Your Price Add
On pre-order until 11/07/2023
On pre-order until 11/07/2023
Interest Level Grade 7 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Social Studies, Young Adult
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Biography, Diverse Books: Feminism, Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diversity, STEM, STEM: Life Science/Health and Human Body, STEM: Technology
Copyright 2024
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 136
Publication Date 2023-11-07
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS YAN006110, YAN024030, YAN050030
Dewey 572.092 [B]
Dimensions 6 x 9
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Photo captions, Reviewed, Sidebars, Source notes, Table of contents, and Timeline

Author: Stephanie Sammartino McPherson

Stephanie Sammartino McPherson, a former teacher and freelance newspaper writer, enjoys writing about science and the human interest stories behind major discoveries. Stephanie and her husband, Richard, live in Virginia but also call California home.


Kirkus Reviews

“The work shines most when elucidating the long path to scientific discovery, including the many failed experiments and minor discoveries that necessarily precede breakthroughs. A stimulating and accessible foray into recent scientific history.” —Kirkus Reviews