Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a well told story of the Yellow Fever epidemic that devastated the city of Philadelphia in the year 1793. Fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook is our narrator. Her mother owns the Cook Coffeehouse in Philadelphia and Mattie helps her run the place. When her mother falls ill with Yellow fever, Mattie has to learn how to grow up fast and make choices for her own destiny. Mattie is an interesting and likable character. She isn’t perfect and is quite frank about her many flaws. She has a most wonderful grandfather although her mother can be a bit of a trial for her to bear.
Surprisingly I don’t have a lot to say about this book. It was very good, and as far as I can tell very accurate. I am currently reading Jim Murphy’s An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 and many of the events in Fever 1793 are based on actual events. Anderson includes an appendix in the back of the book with additional information about the people of the time and the epidemic.
Cautions for Sensitive Readers: Some of the illness is vividly described, and there is some minor violence.
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