NNLM Reading Club: Family Health History
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NNLM Reading Club: Family Health History


Topic: Family Health History
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Family Health History

Knowing your family’s health history paints a picture of potential health problems from one generation to the next. This knowledge is a powerful tool for early detection or prevention of diseases you may be at risk for. Learn how to find and share your family health history on National Family Health History Day, which is Thanksgiving Day, and throughout the year. Watch this video from The Human Genetics Society to learn more.


MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus is NLM's trustworthy and consumer-friendly online resource. Use it to find evidence-based information on Family Health both in English and Spanish from a variety of resources.


There's an NIH for that... and more

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is NIH's biomedical research agency for advancing genomics research. Find an Introduction to Genomics as well as guidance on Direct-to-Consumer Genomic Testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has Family Health History information in English and Spanish. My Family Health Portrait is a confidential online tool to gather your family health information and create a family health tree that can be downloaded and printed. Share your family health history with family members and discuss it with your health practitioner.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), America's consumer protection agency, provides clear and basic information to understand Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests.

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Library Programming

National DNA Day

National DNA Day is annually recognized in April to commemorate the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953. Celebrate this unique day.

Curriculum

Young Readers

Encourage young and old to learn the science behind heredity.

Book cover image of DNA is You!

Exhibits

Partner with a local museum to host Genome: Unlocking Life's Code. The traveling exhibit is a partnership between the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). To learn more about hosting the exhibit, visit their scheduling website, and contact your NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator to discuss funding support.

Libraries Transform

Poster image of Because Libraries can keep your family healthy.

The Libraries Transform Health Literacy Toolkit can help you share trustworthy information so people can make informed decisions about their health. Join the Libraries Transform Campaign to access all the print and digital graphics. Key Message(s): Good health literacy helps parents better manage and respond to their child’s health, which in turn can position them for better learning and avoid missing school. Healthy children are more alert and aware. Promotional Use(s)/Activity Suggestions: If your library conducts a storytime around health and wellness topics, this Because statement can help promote including Family Place Libraries programs and other activities that focus on early childhood development.

Speaker

A guide to family health history booklet cover

Engage a local health professional such as a genetic counselor to give a community talk about direct-to-consumer testing or the importance of knowing one's family health history. To find a speaker, use the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Share copies of A Guide to Family Health History available to download for free in English or Español, or share copies of What You Need to Know About Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing, also available for free download.

Book: Inheritance
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NNLM Reading Club Book 

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.


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Discussion

Discussion Guide for Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love
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Book

Inheritance book cover image

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history – the life she had lived – crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets – secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.audiobook vector imageebook vector image

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love | Dani Shapiro | Daunt Books | 2019 | 272 pages | ISBN: 978-1911547501


Author

Headshot photo fo Dani Shapiro

Dani Shapiro is the author of the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels including Black & White Family History. Also, an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro’s short fiction, essays, and journalistic pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University; she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Official Website of Dani Shapiro

Book: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.


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Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide for The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
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MedlinePlus logo

Learn about the genetic disorder Methemoglobinemia, beta-globin type

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Book

Book cover image The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

1936 Kentucky, Cussy Mary Carter works for the Pack Horse Library Project, delivering books to the needy in the backcountry of Kentucky. Born with a genetic condition that gives her blue skin, Cussy is viewed with suspicion by most of her customers. However, nothing will stop her from delivering the joy of books to those living in the back hollers. audiobook vector image ebook vector image

An Oprah's Buzziest Books Pick for May | Indie Next Pick | LibraryReads Pick | Southern Independent Book Alliance (SIBA) Spring OKRA PICK

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek | Kim Michele Richardson | Sourcebooks Landmark | 2019 | 308 pages | ISBN: 978-1492671527

Author

Headshot photo Kim Michele Richardson

Kim Michele Richardson was born in Kentucky and resides part-time in Western North Carolina. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building houses, and is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence, partnering with the U.S. Navy globally to bring awareness and education to the prevention of domestic violence. She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable Child, and a book critic for the New York Journal of Books. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is her fourth novel.

Official Website of Kim Michele Richardson

Book: There is Something About Edgefield
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.


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Discussion

Discussion Guide for There Is Something About Edgefield
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Book

Book cover image There is Something About Edgefield

Through the stories of their ancestors, Bush and Kemp take us on a compelling journey through African American history into the hearts of individual lives. In tracing their ancestral roots, these family historians discover their connections to some of the South's most powerful men, both famous and forgotten. The community at the heart of this historical study is Edgefield, South Carolina, yet the stories in this book form a microcosm of events experienced by black communities throughout the South. An enslaved maternal line is traced to 1799; hopes are raised, then dashed, when a family of freedmen acquires land after the Civil War, only to later lose it; the "Dark Corner" of Edgefield is exposed. Shining a bright, sometimes uncomfortable light, deep truths are unearthed through DNA results and a new family is found. Follow the authors through years of meticulous genealogical research, historical settings, and DNA testing as they reclaim their family stories and inspire others to embark on their own journey of discovery.

Award Finalist, 2018 Best Book Award, History: United States | Co-Winner of SCAAHC's 2017 Project Award

There Is Something About Edgefield: Shining a Light on the Black Community through History, Genealogy and Genetic DNA | Edna Gail Bush and Natonne Elaine Kemp | Rocky Pond Press | 2017 | 332 pages | ISBN: 978-0999240601

Reviews

The book review begins at 00:29:30 and ends at 00:37:00.

Reading vector image

Just Finished Reading - There Is Something About Edgefield. Random Thoughts on History by Tim Talbott. December 19, 2017


Co-Authors

Headshot photo Natonne Elaine Kemp

Natonne Elaine Kemp is a family historian. Both of her paternal grandparents were born in Edgefield County, South Carolina. She previously served as the editor of Homeplace, the official newsletter of the Old Edgefield District African American Genealogical Society (OEDAAGS), and appeared as co-host of BlogTalkRadio show, Bernice Alexander Bennett’s Research at the National Archives and Beyond. As a 2010 graduate of the National Institute on Genealogical Records (NIGR), now known as the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), she currently is a member of the Louisa County Historical Society and the Virginia Genealogical Society and serves on the Journal Editorial Board of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. She is a well-known presenter at numerous local and national genealogical conferences.

Headshot photo of Edna Gail Bush

Edna Gail Bush passed away on January 18, 2018. She co-authored There Is Something About Edgefield, Shining a Light on the Black Community through History, Genealogy, and Genetic DNA in honor and loving memory of her parents, grandparents, and most of her great grandparents who were born in Edgefield County, South Carolina. She was a member of the Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society (OEDGS), the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the National Genealogical Society (NGS). She also was retired from the New York State government’s former Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

Official Website of Co-Authors

Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.


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Discussion

Discussion Guide for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack
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Book

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks book cover

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.audiobook vector imageebook vector image

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks | Rebecca Skloot | Broadway Books | 2011 | 400 pages | ISBN: 978-1400052189


Author

Photo of Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; Prevention; Glamour; and others. She has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s Radiolab and PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW and is a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine and guest editor of The Best American Science Writing 2011. Her work has been anthologized in several collections, including The Best Creative Nonfiction. She is a former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle and has taught creative nonfiction and science journalism. She is the Founder and President of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation.

Official Website of Rebecca Skloot

Interview

Book: It's All Relative
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NNLM Reading Club Book 

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Discussion

Discussion Guide for It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree
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Book

Book cover It's All Relative

A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: "You don't know me, but I'm your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database." That's enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs's three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history. Jacobs's journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a U.S. president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends, but not our family. audiobook vector imageebook vector image 

It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree | A.J. Jacobs | Simon & Schuster | 2017 | 352 pages | ISBN: 978-1476734491


Author

Headshot photo of A J Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, and lecturer. He has written a few New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help. He is also editor-at-large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR, and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine. Jacobs grew up in New York City. His father is a lawyer who holds the world record for the most footnotes in a law review article (4,812). His wife works for a highbrow scavenger hunt called Watson Adventures. He lives in New York with his family.

Official Website of A.J. Jacobs

Book: She Has Her Mother's Laugh
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.


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Discussion

Discussion Guide for She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity
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Book

She Has Her Mother's Laugh book cover

Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world’s best science journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.audiobook vector imageebook vector image

She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity | Carl Zimmer | Dutton | 2018 | 672 pages | ISBN: 978-1101984598

Author

Carl Zimmer Headshot photo

Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times and the author of 13 books about science. Zimmer is a frequent guest on Radiolab and has written hundreds of articles for magazines such as National Geographic, The Atlantic, and Wired. He is, to his knowledge, the only writer after whom a species of tapeworm has been named.

Official Website of Carl Zimmer