Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever 1793The year is 1793, the capital is Philadelphia, and the country is in its infancy.  Mattie helps her mother around the house, and in their coffee house, which is the family business.  Suddenly, people begin falling ill, and before long an epidemic of the yellow fever has hit the city.  Chaos ensues as Mattie is forced to flee with her grandfather.  Mattie struggles to stay alive, in the hopes of being reunited with her mother.

Once again, I am enchanted by a fantastic piece of young adult historical fiction.  Had I read books like this when in high school, I would have much more interested in history.  Clearly, much research went into this book, and it shows through in the writing.  The setting is painted so accurately, I felt as though I was there.

I greatly enjoyed learning about Mattie's character, her backstory, her private thoughts.  Throughout the story, we see her go from being a girl to a woman, dealing with strife and finding fierce determination to survive.  I think she serves as a fantastic role model for young girls, despite the fact that the story is set over 200 years ago.

I really enjoyed the historical aspect of the story, it made me want to learn more about the real yellow fever epidemic, and more about Philadelphia during the 18th century.  All in all, the book provided a great story, and sparked a hunger for knowledge, which makes for the best kind of young adult book in my opinion.

This book is from my personal library.


  1. Yes! LHA is amazing! I love her! If you want a good non-fiction read about the Yellow Fever Epidemic, I recommend An American Plague by Jim Murphy! JM is a great writer for a YA audience, giving a lot of great info in a really interesting and accessible way.

  2. Love her books, this is the only one I haven't read yet. I'll have to give it a try.