Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever 1793Sixteen year old Mattie Cook yearns for some greater excitement than the dubious thrill of washing countless mugs in her family’s Philadelphia coffee shop. But she learns the hard way to be careful what you wish for when the whole city falls victim to yellow fever in the summer of 1793. Left all alone when members of her family are torn from her by illness or death, Mattie has to fend for herself in a city gone crazy, as opportunistic looters break into homes that have been abandoned and yellow-eyed corpses pile up in the streets. It’s only when Mattie meets up with Eliza, her mother’s free black friend, that she is able to deal with what has happened to her family and decide to take charge of her fate by helping others worse off than herself. Full of adrenaline charged action and lots of gruesome disease detail (blood vomiting and gravediggers hauling dead bodies through the streets) Fever is a fascinating medical thriller that reads like a historical Hot Zone! By the way, this book is based on a REAL epidemic that wiped out 10% of Philadelphia’s population in just three months.

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