Published By: Aladdin
Year of Publication: March 1, 2002
Categories: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Summary (from goodreads.com): 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.
Review: This is the second book I’ve read by Laurie Halse Anderson, and it’s the second book of hers that I’ve really liked. The other book by L aurie that I’ve read was Wintergirls, so I was pretty excited to get a taste of her writing in a historical fiction novel. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed.
I thought the main character, Mattie was very likable – everything from her relationship with her mom, to her liking Nathaniel. My favorite character though had to be Mattie’s grandpa. He was willing to risk everything for Mattie, even his life. There were a few heartbreaking scenes, and I felt like I was going through it right with the characters.
While I was reading it, I felt like I was in Philadelphia in the late 18th century. The descriptions were vivid and made me feel like I was in the middle of everything right with Mattie. I can only imagine how terrifying it would be to have to live through something like that. That fear came through loud and clear in the book. It would be so strange to see the capitol of a nation practically turned into a ghost town. The whole time I was rooting for Mattie and her grandpa, hoping that things would turn out alright for them.
If you’re looking for a historical fiction novel about the yellow fever epidemic, this is definitely the book to go with.
Disclosure: I got this book from the library.