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4.5/5 (175 valutazioni)
243 pagine
3 ore
Aug 16, 2011


Written by Scribd Editors

It's the summer of 1793, and the Cook Coffeehouse has become a safe haven for those fleeing from the epidemic currently sweeping the streets of Philadelphia. The air is abuzz with mosquitoes and the fever, and fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook just lost her best childhood friend to the disease. Down near the city's docks, several more have become fatally ill and the death count is only rising; however, Mattie Cook doesn't get a second to mourn her friends and loved ones who have passed away as new customers have overrun her family's small coffee shop that is located on the outskirts of town, far from the mosquito-infested river. Mattie's concerns of the epidemic are all but overshadowed by her dreams of owning her family's small business and turning it into a thriving empire, but when the fever's grasp comes closer to home, Mattie must come to grips with the hard reality before her: not only must she fight to keep her business alive but also herself.
Aug 16, 2011

Informazioni sull'autore

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. Her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Chains and Speak, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also received the 2009 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and Laurie was chosen for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Pennsylvania, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @HalseAnderson, or visit her at

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Anteprima del libro

Fever 1793 - Laurie Halse Anderson



August 16th, 1793

The city of Philadelphia is perhaps one of the wonders of the world.

—Lord Adam Gordon

Journal entry, 1765

I woke to the sound of a mosquito whining in my left ear and my mother screeching in the right.

Rouse yourself this instant!

Mother snapped open the shutters and heat poured into our bedchamber. The room above our coffeehouse was not large. Two beds, a washstand, and a wooden trunk with frayed leather straps nearly filled it. It seemed even smaller with Mother storming around.

Get out of bed, Matilda, she continued. You’re sleeping the day away. She shook my shoulder. Polly’s late and there’s work to be done.

The noisy mosquito darted between us. I started to sweat under the thin blanket. It was going to be another hot August day. Another long, hot August day. Another long, hot, boring, wretched August day.

I can’t tell who is lazier, Polly or you, Mother muttered as she stalked out of the room. When I was a girl, we were up before the sun . . . Her voice droned on and on as she clattered down the stairs.

I groaned. Mother had been a perfect girl. Her family was wealthy then, but that didn’t stop her from stitching entire quilts before breakfast, or spinning miles of wool before tea. It was the War, she liked to remind me. Children did what was asked of them. And she never complained. Oh, no, never. Good children were seen and not heard. How utterly unlike me.

I yawned and stretched, then snuggled back onto my pillow. A few more minutes’ rest, that’s what I needed. I’d float back to sleep, drifting like Blanchard’s giant yellow balloon. I could just see it: the winter’s day, the crowds on the rooftops, the balloon tugging at its ropes. I held my breath. Would the ropes break?

The devilish mosquito attacked, sinking its needle-nose into my forehead.


I leapt from my bed, and—thunk!—cracked my head on the sloped ceiling. The ceiling was lower than it used to be. Either that, or I had grown another inch overnight. I sat back down, wide awake now, my noggin sporting two lumps—one from the ceiling, one from the mosquito.

No balloon trips for me.

To work, then. I got to my feet and crossed the room, ducking my head cautiously. The water in the washbasin was cloudy, and the facecloth smelled like old cheese. I decided to clean up later, perhaps next December.

A squeaking mouse dashed by my toes, followed by a flash of orange fur named Silas. The mouse ran to a corner, its claws scratching desperately on the floorboards. Silas pounced. The squeaking stopped.

Oh, Silas! Did you have to do that?

Silas didn’t answer. He rarely did. Instead he jumped up on Mother’s quilt and prepared to pick apart his breakfast.

Mother’s best quilt. Mother abhorred mice.

I sprang across the room. Get down! I commanded.

Silas hissed at me but obeyed, leaping to the floor and padding out the door.

Matilda? Mother’s voice called up the stairs. Now!

I made a face at the doorway. I had just saved her precious quilt from disaster, but would she appreciate it? Of course not.

No more dawdling. I had to get dressed.

I fastened my stays and a badly embroidered pocket over the white shift I slept in. Then I stepped into my blue linen skirt. It nearly showed my ankles. Along with the ceiling getting lower, my clothes were shrinking, too.

Once dressed, I faced the rather dead mouse and wrinkled my nose. Picking it up by the tail, I carried the corpse to the front window and leaned out.

My city, Philadelphia, was wide awake. My heart beat faster and my head cleared. Below the window, High Street teemed with horsemen, carriages, and carts. I could hear Mrs. Henning gossiping on her front stoop and dogs barking at a pig running loose in the street.

The sound of the blacksmith’s hammer on his anvil reminded me of Polly, our tardy serving girl. That’s where she was, no doubt; in the blacksmith’s shop, eyeing Matthew, the blacksmith’s son. I didn’t like it there. The roaring furnace, sparks crackling in the air, the sizzle of hot metal into cold water—it all reminded me of that unmentionable place the preachers liked to go on about.

My favorite place was the waterfront. I squinted eastward. The rooftop of the State House, where the Congress met, was visible, but the August haze and dust from the street made it impossible to see farther than that. On a clear day, I could see the masts of the ships tied up at the wharves on the Delaware River. I promised myself a secret visit to the docks later, as soon as Polly arrived to distract Mother.

A few blocks south lay the Walnut Street Prison, where Blanchard had flown that remarkable balloon. From the prison’s courtyard it rose, a yellow silk bubble escaping the earth. I vowed to do that one day, slip free of the ropes that held me. Nathaniel Benson had heard me say it, but he did not laugh. He understood. Perhaps I would see him at the docks, sketching a ship or sea gulls. It had been a long time since we talked.

But before I went anywhere, there was a dead mouse to dispose of. I couldn’t throw it into High Street; it might spook one of the horses. I crossed the room and opened the back window overlooking the garden. Maybe Silas would smell his treat out there and get a decent breakfast after all. I flung the corpse as far as I could, then hurried downstairs before Mother boiled over.


August 16th, 1793

 . . . the first and most principal to be, a perfect skill and knowledge in cookery . . . because it is a duty well belonging to women.

—Gervase Markham

The English House Wife, 1668

As soon as I stepped into the kitchen, Mother started her lecture.

Too much sleep is bad for your health, Matilda. She slipped a freshly made ball of butter into a stone crock. It must be a grippe, a sleeping sickness.

I tried not to listen to her. I had not cleared the wax from my ears all summer, hoping it would soften her voice. It had not worked.

You should be dosed with fish oil. When I was a girl . . . She kept talking to herself as she carried a steaming pot of water outside to rinse the butter churn.

I sat down at the table. Our kitchen was larger than most, with an enormous hearth crowded with pots and kettles, and two bake ovens built into the brickwork beside it. The size of the room did not match the size of our family. We were only three: Mother, Grandfather, and me, plus Eliza who worked for us. But the roomy kitchen could feed one hundred people in a day. My family owned the Cook Coffeehouse. The soon-to-be famous Cook Coffeehouse, Grandfather liked to say.

My father had built our home and business after the War for Independence ended in 1783. I was four years old. The coffeehouse sat just off the corner of Seventh and High Streets. At first we were lucky if a lost farmer strayed in, but business improved when President Washington’s house was built two blocks away.

Father was a carpenter by trade, and he built us a sturdy home. The room where we served customers filled most of the first floor and had four large windows. The kitchen was tucked into the back, filled with useful shelves and built-in cupboards to store things. We could have used a sitting room, truth be told. Father would have added one on if he had lived. But he fell off a ladder and died of a broken neck two months after the coffeehouse opened. That’s when Grandfather joined us.

A coffeehouse was a respectable business for a widow and her father-in-law to run. Mother refused to serve spirits, but she allowed card games and a small bit of gambling as long as she didn’t have to see it. By midday the front room was usually crowded with gentlemen, merchants, and politicians enjoying a cup of coffee, a bite to eat, and the news of the day. Father would have been proud. I wondered what he would have thought of me.

Good morning, Eliza said loudly, startling me. I thought you were going to sleep the day away. Have you eaten? She set a sack of coffee beans on the table.

I’m starving, I said, clutching my stomach.

As usual, she said with a smile. Let me get you something quick.

Eliza was the coffeehouse cook. Mother couldn’t prepare a meal fit for pigs. I found this amusing, considering our last name was Cook. In a manner, though, it was serious. If not for Eliza’s fine victuals, and the hungry customers who paid to eat them, we’d have been in the streets long ago. Mother’s family had washed their hands of her when she ran off to marry a carpenter, a tradesman (the horror!), when she was but seventeen. So we were very fond of Eliza.

Like most blacks in Philadelphia, Eliza was free. She said Philadelphia was the best city for freed slaves or freeborn Africans. The Quakers here didn’t hold with slavery and tried hard to convince others that slavery was against God’s will. Black people were treated different than white people, that was plain to see, but Eliza said nobody could tell her what to do or where to go, and no one would ever, ever beat her again.

She had been born a slave near Williamsburg, Virginia. Her husband saved up his horseshoeing money and bought her freedom right after they were married. She told me that was the best day of her life. She moved to Philadelphia and cooked for us, saving her wages to set her husband free.

When I was eight, she got a letter saying her husband had been killed by a runaway horse. That was her worst day. She didn’t say a word for months. My father had only been dead two years, so Mother knew just what lay in Eliza’s heart. They both supped sorrow with a big spoon, that’s what Mother said. It took years, but the smile slowly returned to Eliza’s face. She didn’t turn sour like Mother did.

Eliza was the luckiest person I knew. She got to walk from the river past shop windows, market stalls, and the courthouse up to Seventh Street every morning. She told stories even better than Grandfather, and she knew how to keep a secret. She laughed once when I told her she was my best friend, but it was the truth.

She dished up a bowl of oatmeal from a pot that hung by the side of the hearth, then carefully set it in front of me. Eat up, she said. One corner of her mouth turned up just a bit and she winked.

I tasted the oatmeal. It was sweet. Eliza had hidden a sugar lump at the bottom of the bowl.

Thank you, I whispered.

You’re welcome, she whispered back.

Why is Polly late? I asked. Have you seen her?

Eliza shook her head. Your mother is in a lather, I promise you, she warned. If Polly doesn’t get here soon, she may need to find herself another position.

I bet she’s dawdling by the forge, I said, watching Matthew work with his shirt collar open.

Maybe she’s ill, Eliza said. There’s talk of sickness by the river.

Mother strode into the room carrying wood for the fire.

Serving girls don’t get sick, Mother said. If she doesn’t appear soon, you’ll have to do her chores as well as your own, Matilda. And where is your grandfather? I sent him to inquire about a box of tea an hour ago. He should have returned by now.

I’d be happy to search for him, I offered. I could look for Polly, too.

Mother added wood to the fire, poking the logs until the flames jumped. The delicate tip of her shoe tapped impatiently. No. I’ll go. If Father comes back, don’t let him leave. And Matilda, see to the garden.

She quickly tied a bonnet under her chin and left, the back door closing behind her with the sharp sound of a musket shot.

Well, said Eliza. That’s it, then. Here, have some veal and corn bread. Seems like you’ve a long day ahead of you.

After she cut me two slices of cold veal and a thick piece of fresh corn bread, Eliza started to make gingerbread, one of her specialties. Nutmeg and cinnamon perfumed the air as she ground the spices with a pestle. If not for the heat, I could have stayed in the kitchen for an eternity. The house was silent except for the popping of the applewood in the fire, and the tall clock ticking in the front room. I took a sip from a half-filled mug on the table.

Ugh! It’s coffee! Black coffee, bitter as medicine. How can you drink this? I asked Eliza.

It tastes better if you don’t steal it, she answered. She took the cup from my hands. Pour your own and leave mine be.

Are we out of cider? I asked. I could get some at the marketplace.

Oh, no, Eliza said. You’ll stay right here. Your mother needs your help, and that poor garden is like to expire. It is time for you to haul some water, little Mattie.

Little Mattie indeed. Another month and I’d be almost as tall as Eliza. I hated to be called little.

I sighed loudly, put my dishes in the washtub, and tucked my hair into my mob cap. I tied a disreputable straw hat atop the cap, one I could never wear in the street, and snatched a bite of dough from Eliza’s bowl before I ran outside.

The garden measured fifty paces up one side and twenty along the other, but after six weeks of drought it seemed as long and wide as a city block, filled with thousands of drooping plants crying for help.

I dropped the bucket into the well to fill it with water, then turned the handle to bring it back up again. Little Mattie, indeed. I was big enough to be ordered around like an unpaid servant. Big enough for mother to grumble about finding me a husband.

I carried the water to the potato patch and poured it out too fast. Big enough to plan for the day when I would no longer live here.

If I was going to work as hard as a mule, it might as well be for my own benefit. I was going to travel to France and bring back fabric and combs and jewelry that the ladies of Philadelphia would swoon over. And that was just for the dry goods store. I wanted to own an entire city block—a proper restaurant, an apothecary, maybe a school, or a hatter’s shop. Grandfather said I was a Daughter of Liberty, a real American girl. I could steer my own ship. No one would call me little Mattie. They would call me Ma’am.

Dash it all. I had watered a row of weeds.

As I returned to the well, Mother came through the garden gate.

Where’s Polly? I asked as I dropped the bucket down the well. Did you pass by the blacksmith’s?

I spoke with her mother, with Mistress Logan, Mother answered softly, looking at her neat rows of carrots.

And? I waved a mosquito away from my face.

It happened quickly. Polly sewed by candlelight after dinner. Her mother repeated that over and over, ‘she sewed by candlelight after dinner.’ And then she collapsed.

I released the handle and the bucket splashed, a distant sound.

Matilda, Polly’s dead.


August 16th, 1793

Oh then the hands of the pitiful Mother prepared her Child’s body for the grave . . .

—Letter of Margaret Morris

Philadelphia, 1793

Dead? Polly’s dead? I couldn’t have heard her properly. Polly Logan? The sweat on my neck turned to ice and I shivered. Our Polly? That can’t be."

I tried to remember the last time we had played together. It was before she started working for us. Last Christmas—no, well before that. Her family had moved to Third Street at least two years ago. She had been a cradle friend, the girl I played dolls with. We sang nonsense songs together when we churned butter. I could see it then, my small hands and Polly’s together on the handle of the churn. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes.

Mother led me inside by the elbow and I sat heavily on a chair. She quickly told Eliza what happened.

There was no doctor in attendance, Mother explained. She shook with fever briefly, three quarters of an hour, cried out once, and died in her own bed. They don’t know what it was.

It could have been anything. There are so many fevers at summer’s end, Eliza said. "Is anyone else

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Cosa pensano gli utenti di Fever 1793

175 valutazioni / 107 Recensioni
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Recensioni della critica

  • I was assigned this book in my college English class and I usually hate assigned reading, but this was a book that pleasantly surprised me. Since I live actually live close to where this book takes place I was able to make some real-world connections that definitely helped make the book more interesting. I did enjoy the story, although it's certainly not a page turner, at least in my opinion. I wish there was a little more character development and specific descriptions to help me understand the world a little better (more visualization, maps, etc.), and I also think the background knowledge should have been presented at the beginning of the book rather than the end, as it would have provided better context while reading. Overall, not bad and much more interesting than I would have initially given it credit for.

    Scribd Editors
  • I can't express just how much I loved this novel. This story was a punch in the gut with its realistic take on heartbreak and sorrow. And what really made it hit home was the fact that even today, with all our medicine and technology, people still suffer as badly as they did back in the 18th Century. This evolved from being just another story about a hard-up teenager who resented her mom for working her too hard to an true-to-form character examination about a strong young lady finding hope where it seemed like there was none. When I was at school I always thought, "What do I want to learn history for? It's boring and won't get me anywhere." This book is the answer to that question. It was interesting, thought-provoking, and downright heart wrenching. Now I'm a withered-up old mother, I can appreciate our history a lot more now, and so will you.

    Scribd Editors

Recensioni dei lettori

  • (3/5)
    Book Review:
    Fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook is ambitious, adventurous, and sick to death of listening to her mother. Mattie has plans of her own. She wants to turn the Cook Coffeehouse into the finest business in Philadelphia, the capital of the new United States. But the waterfront is abuzz with reports of disease. "Fever" spreads from the docks and creeps toward Mattie's home, threatening everything she holds dear. As the cemeteries fill with fever victims, fear turns to panic, and thousands flee the city. Then tragedy strikes the coffeehouse, and Mattie is trapped in a living nightmare. Suddenly, her struggle to build a better life must give way to something even more important -- the fight to stay alive as the fever rages through the town.

    Matilda's Mother/Lucille Cook - A hardworking woman who labors endlessly at the coffeehouse, right where she belongs. She is the mother of Matilda. She gets sick on September 2, 1793.
    Grandfather/Captain William Farnsworth Cook - Matilda's paternal grandfather, who fought with Washington in the American Revolution. Tough, but generous with a sweet disposition.
    Eliza - African American woman who was once a slave, whose deceased husband bought her freedom. Works in the coffeehouse as the chef but retires to her brother's house at the end of each day.
    Nathaniel Benson - Matilda's friend and the painter's apprentice. (Keeps talking about catching a balloon rise [important in the story])
    Polly - Matilda's childhood friend and one of the first to die of the fever. (Mother's servant)
    Nell - A little girl Matilda looks after, after finding her alone in an abandoned house.

  • (5/5)
    Philadelphia, 1793. The once bustling capital city is now a shell of its former self. Gripped by yellow fever, thousands are dead and dying, thousands more have fleed for the safety of the countryside. The raw emotion of this time in our history is truly felt within the pages. Based on true events, this is a must for historical fiction readers.
  • (4/5)
    In 1793 Mattie is 16. He mother runs a coffee house. The yellow fever plague sweeps Philadelphia. She is separated from her mother, who is sick. She leaves town with her grandfather. As she witnesses the images of death, and watches the city become abandoned, she grows more self-reliant.
  • (5/5)
    Outstanding historical fiction.
  • (5/5)
    Great writing.
  • (4/5)
    I recently read "An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793" so the facts learned from that book were fresh in my mind while reading Fever. I must say, everything was extremely spot on. The timeline was right, the major players were right, details of the disease progression were right, I even forgot most of the time that this was fiction and not another extremely well written piece of non-fiction. I found it interesting that the first plague victim we hear about in Fever is African American, whereas the first victim was a French sailor according to An American Plague. While they may have been fairly silent in popular culture at the time, The Free African Society was far from it in 1793. As African Americans were thought to be immune to the sickness, they were not, many African American maids saw patients in their homes that nobody else would go into and saved the lives and hopes of so many.
  • (4/5)
    In Philadelphia (then, the capital of the United States) in 1793, yellow fever struck, taking about 10% of its residents. The outbreak hit in August and didn't subside until November. This fictional account is told from the point of view of 14-year old Mattie, who lives with her mother and grandfather; as a family, they run a popular coffeehouse. When the fever initially strikes, some people leave the city, while others (at least initially) don't believe it's anything more than a regular fever that tends to strike every fall. A series of events happens that forces Mattie to grow up quickly.I thought this was really good. I liked how Mattie's character developed over the course of the story. Because it's YA, it was quick to read. There is also a detailed appendix at the end - explaining more about the fever and what happened, as well as some additional history - that I found very interesting.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent historical novel written as if a journal by a fourteen year old girl living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the Yellow Fever epidemic. Exceptionally well written account which entirely plausible, and includes verifiable facts regarding the devastation of the citizens and the great sacrifices and good works of the individuals of the AME church. I have read it several times, but noticed that I neglected to review, so I reread the audio today. Emily Bergl is wonderful as Mattie Cook and the other characters.
  • (4/5)
    The scene at the tea... BRILLIANT. It's funny, but really not. I'd LOVE to see it acted out. My favorite part of the book hands down.
  • (4/5)
    Bought this book some time ago at Goodwill thinking it might interest my son but he hasn't read it. I finally read it over the last week or so. It's an interesting account of a historical event I didn't know about. Well written, except for the author's confusion of the verbs "lie" and "lay." Argh!
  • (3/5)
    Mattie is a 14-year-old growing up in 1793 Philadelphia, the year the Yellow Fever killed approximately 5,000 people (roughly 10% of its population at the time). When neighbors and eventually her own mother becomes ill, she and her grandfather attempt to flee the city, as many of its other occupants do. But this ends up not being as easy as expected, and Mattie discovers how devastating the Fever really is.My 12-year-old daughter had to read this for a summer school book project. I've read a few other of Laurie Halse Anderson's young adult books & enjoyed them, so I decided to read along with this one. It's basically historical fiction for the young reader, and for someone my daughter's age, I thought it was appropriate and informative. My daughter, who is a good reader but doesn't enjoy reading, was not looking forward to having to read this, but ended up enjoying it. Personally, I found the writing a little too basic and did not enjoy this as much as some of Anderson's other books, but I attribute that to it being written for a younger audience (10- to 12-year-olds) as opposed to more of a teen/young adult group. This book was more of an educational read for me, which I suspect is why it is a popular choice for schools.
  • (4/5)
    Mattie is a 14 year old girl in Philadelphia in 1793, the year the city had a major epidemic of yellow fever, which killed about 10% of the population. The book gets to the meat of the story quickly, taking only a short spell before the fever starts to introduce the main characters. It is well paced, and gives an excellent idea of what life would have been like if one had lived in that time and place.Mattie seems to have a bit of the spunk and personality of a modern 14 year old - perhaps realistic, perhaps not. But even if not, it will make her more approachable by the target audience.Eliza, the black cook at the coffee house Mattie's mother runs as the book opens, is a quiet heroine in the story. I loved the way it ended for her.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this young adult historical fiction novel. The main character was interesting and you really got to see her mature through the story. This story was really well written and interesting. It was realistic for the drama surrounding Mattie, but you didn't feel hopeless as the story rolled on. I thought the medical information from the time period was fascinating and I really liked the extra information in the appendix about "bleeding doctors" vs. the "French doctors".
  • (3/5)
    I kept my eyes closed, trying to see Polly happy, joking, maybe stealing a kiss with Matthew, then bursting through the door to tell me. It couldn't be real. How could Polly be dead?- Chapter 3 Some doctors warn we may see a thousand dead before it's over. There are forty thousand people living in Philadelphia, William. Can you imagine if one in forty were to die?- Chapter 8 My eyes closed. It was never going to stop. We would suffer endlessly, with no time to rest, no time to sleep.- Chapter 25 In the year 1793, yellow fever hits Philadelphia and hits it hard. Mattie is separated from her sick mother and forced to flee the city with her grandfather. When he falls ill, Mattie must help him and take care of herself. She must fight to survive. I read this book as part of my study of books for ages 9-12 with strong female protagonists. This book deals with a lot of suffering, but Mattie is a survivor. No matter what happens, she doesn't give up. Despite all the death and sadness, there is a message of hope. Towards the end, Mattie spends a great deal of time caring for others. She also shows that she knows what she wants and is determined to get it. This is a good historical fiction book and the first book I read on this topic. It is well-written and easy to read. Recommended to:Ages 9-12; readers who enjoy historical fiction or books with strong female characters.
  • (5/5)
    This book was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I like how they own a coffee shop that makes there life "harder"
  • (4/5)
    I think I may have read this a long time ago, but decided to reread it. It was worth it. gloomy, of course. Includes helpful historical notes at the very end. I listened to the audiobook and it was fine. I had downloaded it on the computer at work, and then only had 12 more minutes to listen to and was off Saturday and Sunday. I tried to read the end of it on, but not every page is shown because of copyright, so it was a tad disorienting to listen to the last twelve minutes, when I'd already read bits and pieces.
  • (4/5)
    Through the perspective of 14 year old Mattie, the horror of the 1793 plague in Philadelphia is revealed. This is very well researched and gives insight into 18th century America including the role of the French and the African freepeople.
  • (4/5)
    I found it to be a cute story because it's written from the view point of a teenager from 1793.
  • (5/5)
  • (3/5)
    I have been wanting to read this novel for years. As it is the Pentathlon book for 2019-2020 school year, I've finally gotten around to it! A historical fiction novel, Fever, 1793, deals with the yellow fever epidemic that hit Philadelphia in 1793.Mattie Cook lives with her mother and grandfather running a successful tea shop in Philadelphia, just down the street from George Washington's home. Mattie, despite what her mother says, embodies energy and potential. Her mother worries constantly and wants to save money. After all, it's hard for a widow to support herself and a family during this time period. Mattie only sees potential with the tea shop. She has ideas about expansion and inventory. Their cook Eliza is more a part of the family than she is an employee. Mattie's grandfather was a member of the Revolutionary War and has taught Mattie some basic military ideas and defenses. Mattie loves her family.Rumors of sickness start to spread. Mattie's mother wants Mattie to marry well, so when an invitation arrives to a rich family's house for tea, off they go. It's there that one of the daughter collapses. The fever is upon Philadelphia. People literally drop all over town and many die. There's little to purchase because even the farmers and merchants won't enter town. Mattie's mother sends her to the country with her grandfather, but they never arrive at the friend's house. Mattie and her grandfather have to fend for themselves worrying about her mother.Mattie sees Philadelphia in the heart of this epidemic and takes the reader with her. The uneducated and prejudiced people of society abound, from doctors to business leaders. The reader experiences what happens before modern medicine when people survived despite the doctors. They bleed people and give them strange advice. Survival comes only to the strongest. Business leaders expect the black members of the city to take care of the sick because they assume only white people get sick. Overall, I enjoyed the novel, but I like Death Struck Year much better for a book about a pandemic. This novel reads like an elementary novel to me, seeming quite simple. If you like historical fiction, you may enjoy this novel as well.
  • (1/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    For the love of all that's holy - stop passing this on to students who will think, by way of their teacher's recommendation, that this is a piece of quality historical fiction. What better way to turn them off of reading, while negating the efforts of their history teachers at the same time?

    The single most painful piece of poor writing I've ever seen prescribed to students. My poor 6th grader is reading this along with her class, but the opportunity came up for us to listen to the audio on a long car trip and I thought it could both get her ahead in Language Arts, and provide for a good story for the whole family.

    The protagonist's voice could hardly be more modern, and is supposed to be the voice of a girl from 220 years in the past. There isn't even an attempt made to use period language (no, leaving references to cell phones out does not count). Laura Ingalls Wilder writes of a time 100 years after this book takes place, and yet portrays the periods language, voice, and mores a thousand times better.

    The set-up is exciting, and banks on a slow build dystopian trend - it also tries to hitch a ride on even more specific trends like the day to day plodding that appeals to a fan of The Walking Dead (for example) - but if a modern sensibility is to be given to a plague outbreak story, there are unlimited better books and productions to choose from.

    The treatment of girls, blacks, and other minorities in this book could hardly be less period-accurate. In the best case this was done out of ignorance and simple-minded writing, but the fact that it is assigned reading for some students, and that it has been given awards, leads me to suspect a more sinister motive: white-washing history to portray the treatment of women and minorities as all-but equal citizens 220 years ago in America - with the bonus factor (in the eyes of people with the motive to push this narrative in schools) of preaching a white-washed version of the period's Christianity in the bargain (in school - under the auspices of historical accuracy).

    Completely irresponsible if not downright conspiratorial with those seeking to create a false history for the US. This would be a great book to let go out of print ASAP - or to dissect for its blatant use of misrepresentation. It certainly doesn't help that it's boring as can be for an interesting subject, in an interesting time period. You may well find yourself, as I did, rooting for the fever to do away with these insipid characters.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)
    Great summer read-enjoyed every page!
  • (5/5)
    This book is incredible. I always love reading about young heroines and you will too! The story is riveting and very descriptive, I read this book when I was about 16, and at 24 it still sticks with me as one of my favorite childhood books.
  • (3/5)
    Forgettable. Unremarkable. I have no love for the main character built of sharing her turmoil. I couldn't bring myself to much care for the heroine or her circumstances.
  • (5/5)
    This book catches your attention right away
  • (4/5)
    A Terrifying Glimpse into the Past

    Life and death decision making are forced upon many people in this book, including young ones. The main character has to look out for her family and decide what to do during a terrifying period in her life where no correct answers seem to be found. Mustering her inner strength, the reader is drawn in and holds their breath until the end.
  • (5/5)
  • (4/5)
    This was a very good book. Accurate historical fiction and very engaging. Good character development and very satisfying closure to multiple plots.
  • (4/5)
    A YA historical novel about the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. A good representation of the nearly apocalyptic scene and the struggles of dealing with the threat of death of oneself and loved ones.
  • (3/5)
    A quick read about a young girl facing the 1793 yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. Pretty simple, but gets at some good themes and interesting historical moments from the time of the outbreak (the debate over treatment methods, the role of black Philadelphians in combating the disease, &c.). I found it a little bit basic, but I bet it would be very well-suited for the intended audience.