Of Better Blood

Teenage polio survivor Rowan Collier is caught in the crossfire of a secret war against “the unfit.” It’s 1922, and eugenics—the movement dedicated to racial purity and good breeding—has taken hold in America. State laws allow institutions to sterilize minorities, the “feeble-minded,” and the poor, while local eugenics councils set up exhibits at county fairs with “fitter family” contests and propaganda. After years of being confined to hospitals, Rowan is recruited at sixteen to play a born cripple in a county fair eugenics exhibit. But gutsy, outspoken Dorchy befriends Rowan and helps her realize her own inner strength and bravery. The two escape the fair and end up at a summer camp on a desolate island run by the New England Eugenics Council. There they discover something is happening to the children. Rowan must find a way to stop the horrors on the island…if she can escape them herself.

  • 272 Pages
  • 5.5" x 8.25"
  • 9780807547748
  • February 2016

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807547755
  • February 2016

Other Places to Buy


  • Sure to spark difficult but necessary discussions.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Though readers will hungrily rush to the finish, this debut novel’s poignant themes—perseverance, sacrifice, lineage, and loyalty—are sure to linger long past the final page.

    - Booklist

  • Moger adeptly handles the novel’s historical aspects and wisely avoids a too-neat resolution, given that eugenic beliefs and forced sterilizations persisted in this country long after Rowan’s story ends. It’s an engaging introduction to a rarely discussed piece of history.

    - Publishers Weekly

  • Moger crafts likable characters who mature over the course of the book. Readers will enjoy the mystery as it mounts in the final chapters. This book is an engaging work of historical fiction that would be a great addition for any middle school library.

    - School Library Journal

Common Core

RL.11-12.1,2,3,4,5,6,10 SL.11-12.1,1a,1b,1c,1d,2,3,4,5,6 L.11-12.4,4a,4b,4c,4d,5,5a,5b,6 W.11-12.2,2a,2b,2c,2d,2e,2f,7,8,9