Award winning author Gwendolyn Hooks has inspired readers with her heartfelt story about the life of medical pioneer Vivien Thomas in Tiny Stitches.
Title: Tiny Stitches
Author: Gwendolyn Hooks
Illustrations: Colin Bootman
Publisher: Lee and Low Books
Doctors work miracles all the time. Many of these doctors may go unnoticed, or it may take them years to make their miracle a reality. But one doctor, Vivien Thomas, wasn’t scared to make his mark in the world. He had invented a brand new operation using tiny delicate tools designed to work on troubled tiny delicate hearts.
When the depression hit and all money was lost but Vivien’s dreams didn’t die. Although he couldn’t go to medical school he was given an opportunity to work with Dr. Blalock. He learned so much as a researcher and was hands on. In 1941 he relocated to Baltimore and worked with Dr. Blalock at John’s Hopkins. Getting settled in and finding a home was troubling during these times of segregation. His new position as a Surgical Technician in Research provided him with the opportunity to research, study and help babies with heart defects.
This heartfelt story of first steps has cleared the way for so many other students of color to follow their dreams of becoming doctors. “The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine established the Vivien Thomas Fund to increase diversity and help students continue their education.” Author Gwendolyn Hooks idea to bring this book into the hands of children will enlighten and inspire. Gentle hues of browns, yellow and blues soften the pains of racial issues Vivien Thomas encountered but also create a glow of pride and achievement in each picture. Young readers have an opportunity to learn about medical wonders and a real African American hero. Parents and teachers can use this story as a guide for discussion on African American history and how children can be whatever they set their mines to become.
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