Thursday, November 5, 2009
Review: Fever 1793
Title: Fever 1793
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
ISBN/Publisher: 0-689-84891-9/Aladdin Paperbacks (part of Simon & Schuster)
Age Group/Genre: ages 10 and up
Fourteen year-old Matilda Cook lives in Philadelphia, the nation's capital at the end of the eighteenth century. She works for her widowed mom in their family's coffee shop. Her family is struggling when the city is hit with an epidemic and everyone is vulnerable.
Mattie's mom becomes sick and forces Matty and her grandfather to leave the city to escape the illness. However, Mattie isn't safe on the road either and the whole time she is gone she is trying to find her way back to her home town and her only parent.
Will Mattie and her family survive the yellow fever epidemic?
Laurie Halse Anderson writes a well-written story about a teenage girl's experience during the yellow fever outbreak. All the characters in this book are believable and lovable. So, keep the tissues near by because you'll fall in love with these characters and want to protect them through this ordeal.
I don't really remember reading a lot about this epidemic in my U.S. history classes, so this book was a wonderful read. I learned a lot even though this is a historical fiction novel. The back of the book includes an appendix to give more information about the happenings during this time period.
Mattie Cook is a strong female character and I wish I met her when I was in eighth grade during U.S. history. But the book was published that year and I'm kind of sad I didn't discover it then. As a future teacher, I will recommend this book to history teachers to add to their libraries and I want my thirteen year old niece to read it (she's taking U.S. history right now in 8th grade). So, everyone...if you get the chance to read it, please do!!!