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Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World

by Tracy Kidder and Adapted for young people by Michael French

Published by Delacorte Press, 2013
272 pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-74318-1

Ages 12-15

An adaption of the adult book of the same name (published in 2002) looks at Dr. Paul Farmerís work providing health care for impoverished people in Haiti and other parts of the world. Farmerís work, rooted in compassion, is fascinating from scientific, social, and ethical perspectives. With degrees in medicine and medical anthropology, his focus starts with his patients but expands to embrace the context of their lives. The nonprofit he founded, Partners in Health, began with his work in the central plains of Haiti creating a sophisticated medical clinic providing care to all. Treating patients there, he realized the need for systems to address global inequities in health care. In fact, Farmerís work treating patients informs everything else he does. Without it, he argues, his efforts to affect global health policy would be impossible. Itís not enough to treat diseases like multi-drug-resistant TB while ignoring the poverty and other conditions that contribute to them. Farmer sees his work as a moral imperative, but that doesnít mean answers are always easy in terms of what do in specific situations. Troubling, challenging, thorny questions and arguments for and against different courses of action are part of his work with patients and with policy alike. The scope of his impact extends from the lives of the people heís treated to those affected by policies heís helped develop. It may also extend to young readers moved by his fierce commitment to preserving health and human dignity.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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