Fever: 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Fever: 1793
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Pages: 256
Genre: YA/ Fiction
Source: Purchased
It's late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook doesn't get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have overrun her family's coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie's concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family's small business into a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie's struggle to build a new life must give way to a new fight-the fight to stay alive. [via GoodReads]
I can't help it, but I have a morbid fascination in books about plagues and other such catastrophes.  It's sick, I know.  But I'm always enthralled by stories such as these.

Ms. Halse Anderson's tale was a captivating one.  At the beginning of our story Mattie is a young girl helping her mother at the coffehouse they own.  She's stubborn, selfish (at times) and has big dreams of making the family business prosper.  As the yellow fever epidemic spreads and the town and its residents either succumb to illness or have no choice but to run, Mattie grows into a brave and strong, young woman.  A young woman who helps those in need and finds a way to make her dreams come true.

The story is based upon the yellow fever epidemic that struck Philadelphia in 1793 and killed some 5,000 people.  Ms. Halse Anderson expertly captures the effects of the fever and how a whole city succumbs to it.  I loved how descriptive the story was, making me feel as if I were living it with Mattie.  With plenty of character development and excitement I found Fever: 1793 to be a very facinating read.

One last thing I'd like to mention, Ms. Halse Anderson includes an appendix at the back of the book with additional information about the people of the time and the epidemic as well as the factual people and events that she uses in her story.  I found this very interesting and recommend that you don't pass up on reading that extra chapter.

My Rating:


Kailana said...

I have read two Laurie Halse Anderson books and I don't think I get the amazing appeal that other people do from them. This book, on the other hand, sounds more my style. I will have to check it out.

Cindy said...

This sounds really good! I also love reading about catastrophes so I think this one is for me. Great review :)

Just Mom said...

my daughter has this one and it caught my eye but I haven't read it - sounds like I should!

Cialina at said...

LOL. I don't blame you for having a fascination with yellow fever. I read this one as a young teen and I DEVOURED it. It's one of the books that I read more than once as a young teen ... I think the only other books that got that honor was Harry Potter!

Terra Heck said...

This sounds like a very interesting book. I'm going to have to put it on my list of books to buy soon.

Lola said...

This one has been sitting on my shelf for a while now. I really need to read it! Great review! :)

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