The Man Who Touched His Own Heart

Dunn, Rob

Publication date:

Dunn, R. (2015). The man who touched his own heart: True tales of science, surgery, and mystery. New Yok, NY: Little, Brown Company.




The Man Who Touched His Heart tells the story of a man who dug up a cadaver to take its heart, performed the first heart transplant surgery which needed to be finished within three minutes, and the developed medical technology to prolong the lives of people suffering from heart-related illness. A German physician, Werner Forssmann, is highlighted in this book, as he was the first doctor who inserted 3 urethral catheters in his arm and guided it up to the right atrium of the heart. Later, he won a Nobel Prize. The book contains rich information of the history of science related to the heart.
This will be a good book for students to read as they are learning the circulatory system for BIO4. Also, the student can easily engage with this book as the book was written at 8th grade reading level. This book starts with a personal story about the author’s grandmother who was ill due to heart failure. Students can relate themselves to the book as the author shares about his personal life story. The book has great information for students to learn about the heart yet it is written like a novel, which helps students to easily approach the text.


This book is generally appropriate for the intended grade level or higher according to Flesch-Kincaid formula, as it scored 8.0. The ideas are expressed clearly and the word choice is appropriate. The vocabulary used in this book is generally appropriate for the intended grade or higher.  The book size is suitable and the cover color is very eye catching. The text size is medium-sized; not too small and not too big. There are a few pictures throughout the book. These images are helpful when the author explains the pathway of blood circulation throughout the heart, and helpful when the names of the parts of a heart are illustrated.

Use in Class

This text is easily accessible and comprehensible to all students at 8th grade reading levels or higher.  Teachers are encourage to read one chapter to the whole class as a read aloud activity. It is recommended to read chapter one as it contains information on the anatomy of the heart which is relevant to the circulatory system under BIO4.

Unit Focus


Submitted by Yookyung Chung’

Leave a Reply

Privacy Statement