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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: A Good Read

One of the most gripping books of all time, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by author  Rebecca Skloot, is one to add to any bookshelf collection. It was a New York Times bestseller and placed on the Amazon Best Books of the Month list for February 2010.

It tells the story of Henrietta Lacks who died of cancer in 1951. Unknowingly, a sample of her cells was taken and studied before she died. It led to the discovery of HeLa cells and their potential breakthroughs, such as the cure for polio. However, Lacks’ family never benefited from these discoveries and lived a poor life for many years. The story brings up ethical and moral questions like, who do our bodies belong to?

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The story is gripping and once you pick it up, you won’t put it down. It’s hard to believe it’s nonfiction. But Skloot perfectly captures the sadness and ethical dilemmas that come with medical and technological advancements. The years of research she put into writing this book show her dedication to telling the unjust story of Henrietta Lacks and her family. It has also been translated into twenty languages and was turned into an HBO film, produced by Oprah Winfrey.