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The Virus

Written by Ben Martynoga

Illustrated by Moose Allain

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The Virus Review

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Everything you need to know to understand COVID-19

September 2020 Book of the Month

Less than one year ago, until November 2019 in fact, SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus hadn’t infected a single person and was completely unknown to nearly all of us. Now it has changed our whole world, yet most of us still have only a hazy idea of what viruses are, which is where this brilliant little book comes in. The Virus tells you everything there is to know about viruses including of course COVID-19. It explains what viruses are, what they look like and do, why they are so successful at making us ill, what we can do to combat them, and why some of them actually help us. If this sounds a bit technical or heavy going, think again: it’s fascinating stuff and presented in a way that makes it really easy to read and understand. The story of coronavirus as told here is an adventure, full of heroes and villains, facts and figures that will stop you in your tracks, and some good jokes too. I can’t think of a more interesting or relevant book for our times – everyone needs to read this! 

If you're interested in science you can find many similar titles in our Best Non-Fiction collection.

Andrea Reece

The Virus Synopsis


It's 15,000 times smaller than a flea and we can kill it with a bar of soap - so how did a tiny, fragile virus change the world?

Join science expert Dr Ben Martynoga and illustrator extraordinaire Moose Allain on a fascinating, sometimes funny, and occasionally scary journey through the world of viruses. Explore the science behind viruses and the COVID-19 pandemic in a fascinating story of hijacked human cells and our own internal emergency services. Along the way, you'll learn what viruses are, how they work, and how we can overcome - or at least learn to live alongside - those that do us harm.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788452106
Publication date: 30/07/2020
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Paperback

About Ben Martynoga

Dr Ben Martynoga is a neuroscientist and science writer. After more than a decade at the forefront of brain research, he swapped his white coat for a pen. He has written on everything from the history of biology through to the latest technological innovations, running, stress and creativity. Always working to open up the hard science and find a compelling angle, he publishes books, chapters, blogs, videos and podcasts. His work appears in the Guardian, New Statesman, the i newspaper, the Financial Times and beyond. He lives, works, wanders and wonders in the Lake District.

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