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1997. Alvin and Virginia Silverstein and Laura Silverstein Nunn. Today more than sixty thousand Americans have sickle cell anemia, while an estimated 2.5 million carry the sickle cell trait that can pass the disease on to future generations. A hereditary disease that most frequently affects Africans and African Americans, sickle cell anemia results from a small change in hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying substance in red blood cells. Red blood cells with the abnormal hemoglobin can change into a "sickle" shape and become stiff and fragile. While the disease cannot be prevented or cured, precautions can be taken to avoid symptoms or lessen their severity. 112 pages, hard cover, b&w photos. Grades 6 and up.