Print Typhoid Mary Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 7 to 8
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||cooked-the, large-framed, willfully, oddity, brawny, sewage, unsuccessful, ignorance, laundress, suffering, experimental, civil, better, typhus, confinement, refused
||Mary Mallon, New York, Long Island, George Soper, Brother Island
By Mary Lynn Bushong
1 Imagine yourself moving to a new country for a better life. You've gotten yourself a job you are good at and enjoy doing. Then one day without warning, an official comes to your door and accuses you of making others sick with typhoid fever. This is what happened to Mary Mallon.
2 Mary Mallon was born in Ireland on September 23, 1869. Like thousands of others from her country, she came to America hoping for a better life. She was about 15 years old when she arrived in New York. Little is known of her life in America until the turn of century.
3 By 1900, Mary had established a reputation for being an excellent cook. She was a large-framed woman with a feisty temper and a habit of keeping to herself. In those days most well-to-do families had cooks that worked in the homes. The large cities like New York were extremely hot in the summer and became hot beds of disease due to poor sewage facilities and poor nutrition. Everyone who could, spent summers on the shore or in the country.
4 In the summer of 1907, Mary moved with the Warren family to a rented home on Long Island. Near the end of the summer, one of the daughters came down with typhoid fever, and eventually six out of the eleven people in the house got sick.
5 The two most common ways of spreading the disease were by food or water. The water was tested and found to be safe. If the disease was from the food, the cook was the most likely source. Normally a thorough hand washing would keep a carrier from spreading disease, and if that failed, cooking would destroy bacteria. In this case both were a factor as Mary's specialty was peach ice cream which was not cooked-the perfect place for typhoid to grow.
Paragraphs 6 to 12:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable
Weekly Reading Books
Feedback on Typhoid Mary
Crime and Terrorism
Copyright © 2018 edHelper