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Children's Nonfiction Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries

Germy Science

The Sick Truth about Getting Sick (and Staying Healthy)

by (author) Edward Kay

illustrated by Mike Shiell

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries, Personal Hygiene, Anatomy & Physiology
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
Recommended Reading age
8 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


This perfectly revolting --- and perfectly timely! --- introduction to germs from award-winning comedy writer Edward Kay will turn any kid into a master of microbes!

Children get up close and personal with germs (ew!) in this entertaining, thoroughly researched exploration of the science and history of these tiny, ubiquitous creatures. Heavy on the gross factor to keep readers engaged, the book covers what germs are, how we get sick, how the human immune system works and the best ways to stay healthy. There are intriguing stories about early attempts to fight disease (heard about corpse catapults? how about shaved chicken butts?), and the plagues and pandemics that changed the course of history. A look to the future describes how germs may be helpful for cleaning the environment and solving crimes. It's a kid-friendly overview that provides the perfect introduction to the world of germs.

With germs all over the news, and on the minds of children and adults everywhere, award-winning author Edward Kay sets the story straight, as he blends loads of solid information with humor, cool fun facts and disgusting details to make learning fun. Hilarious comic-style art by Mike Shiell heightens the grossness and the appeal. The topic of germs --- a general term for bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses --- is highly relevant and inherently interesting to children, and the up-to-date information is presented in a way that's accessible and easy to manage. This book has many cross-curriculum links, in life science, technology, health and history. Following Stinky Science as the next book in the Gross Science series, it contains a glossary, index and further reading.

About the authors

EDWARD KAY is a Toronto-based, award-winning screenwriter, journalist, and author. He co-created the animated children’s series Ollie’s Under-the-Bed Adventures (which won a Gemini Award for Best Animated Program) and has contributed to numerous animated and live-action programs for Cartoon Network, Teletoon, YTV, and TVO. Edward is also the author of the children’s novels STAR Academy and Dark Secrets. Visit him at

Edward Kay's profile page

Like most kids, Mike liked to draw and once he started to get recognition for his drawings, he drew more and more. He also liked to make people laugh, so put those two things together and you have a cartoonist on your hands.Many of Mike's funny ideas come from observing the world around him and twisting everyday occurrences into funny and sometimes totally absurd cartoons, drawings and short animated films. Mike's cartoons and illustrations have appeared in many magazines, books and greeting cards in North America and Europe. His animated series, The Melon Shorts, has appeared in numerous film festivals around the world and has won a number of awards.Mike is the illustrator of the Gross Science series of books written by Edward Kay. The three titles in the series are Stinky Science, Germy Science and Poopy Science. Both Stinky Science and Germy Science are being adapted into an animated TV series. Mike is excited to be making his debut as an author-illustrator with the graphic novel Linty: A Pocketful of Adventure.Even on his most stressful and not-so-fun days, Mike reminds himself that he is making a living doing the thing that he had dreamed of doing when he was a little kid ... so he tries not to be too whiny. Instagram: @linty2022 Facebook: @linty2022 Twitter: @Wandering88

Mike Shiell's profile page

Editorial Reviews

It is worth noting that [this] was written before a vaccine was available, but that doesn't decrease the value of this book to inform and reassure.

CM Magazine

A fast-paced and fun introduction to the mysteries of microbes.

Kirkus Reviews

A great combination of scientific information, coupled with a bit of historical epidemiology, resulting in a highly entertaining and informative introduction to germs.

School Library Journal

Other titles by Edward Kay

Other titles by Mike Shiell

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