This is a great little YA book that delves into the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia Mattie s gumption and drive see her through some horrific experiences, as she becomes an adult and has to survive on her own in the city of brotherly love which loses that appellation fairly quickly as the disease takes hold She starts out a child in what was then the capitol of the United States and emerges as her tough mother s daughter with a strength she didn t know she had. Fever 1793 is a standalone, young readers novel written by Laurie Halse Anderson Although it falls in the genre of historical fiction, this story is based on a very real event in history If interested, you can learn about the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 by clicking HERE.As a reader and a parent who supports academic success, I can acknowledge the benefits of educating youth via literature Even I learned a lot from reading this book But how much are they learning if they are trudging through every chapter Fever 1793 was one of the titles required for my son s summer reading He wasn t happy about not getting a choice about what he is reading this summer and he was even less happy about having a number of extensive assignments for each book But he had the best attitude a sixth grader trying to enjoy his summer can be expected to have and he did what he needed to do But his opinion It wasn t only him though I personally asked the opinions of several of his friends and all of them hated this book as well note hate is their word, not mine After reading this book myself, I can see where they are coming from It s not a pretty thought that an epidemic of this horror can exist, and the thought that one could affect our super sanitized society of today is even frightening for youths and adults alike But if history teaches us anything, it s the important knowledge that people can and do survive horrors of all kinds, and that little tidbit is priceless.My boy s rating of Fever 1793 is one star He wouldn t budge even acknowledging the survival component He despised every chapter It was pretty sad, but my personal rating isn t much better in terms of personal enjoyment Even though I can objectively note many positive elements incorporated in this book, I didn t enjoy the experience much at all So I m giving Fever 1793 a two star rating When my boy heard my rating, he demanded to create his own goodreads account to personally document his lonely one star He s got two years to go before that happensbut when he turns thirteen Watch out goodreads My boy s got some opinions 07 31 2015 July 2015 Reading along with my son for his required summer reading.
In 1793, Philadelphia, PA was the largest city in the established colonies The city streets, called alleys at the time, were laid out in a grid pattern as many modern cities are laid out today Located on the Delaware River made it an ideal spot for accessibility and trade Markets, banks, coffeehouses, a university and the State House made it a desirable, modern city of its time The central location was one of the reasons the Constitutional Convention was called to order in Philadelphia during a very hot summer six years earlier Despite its modernism imagine dirt roads, outhouses, animal droppings in the streets, and trash that was put out at night for rats to scamper through as disposal Therefore, your daily life consisted of swapping away flies and mosquitos not to mention the smells around Personal hygiene did not consist of baths or showers and doctors had opinions, perhaps a few remedies, but no modern medicines at hand Bleeding was the favored method of some of the doctors around to get rid of the sickness He s the best physician that knows the worthlessness of most Medicines Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard s Almanac, 1733Get to know Mattie and her family in this historical young adult fiction novel Her mother and grandfather run a wonderful, successful respectable coffeehouse on a busy corner in Philadelphia among the hustle and bustle Only 2 blocks away from President Washington s house Along with servants they work from sunrise to sundown, serve homemade delicious dishes to loyal guests and pass through travelers Spirits were not served at this coffeehouse, but there was always time for a good card game Mattie is an obedient hard working and resilient girl She runs errands at market and dislikes fancy dress up tea parties One day, Polly, their servant girl does not show up for work Stricken sick with a fever that people first called the grippe In the next few days things change very quickly for this family and other Philadelphia residents, as it is thought that a ship docked at the harbour brought mosquitos along that infected people with Yellow Fever The patient is to be placed in a large empty tub, and two buckets full of water, of the temperature 75 or 80 degrees Fahrenheit s thermometer,.are to be thrown on him Dr Adam Kuhn, Philadelphia, 1793 As this story unfolds you will find out what happens to this family and how this young girl with some help struggles, persists through and helps others in need in this tragic time Hot, dry winds forever blowing, Dead men to the grave yards going Constant hearses, Funeral verses Oh What plagues there is no knowing Phillip Freneau Pestilence Written During the Prevalence of a Yellow Fever, 1973This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, story of a real event in our history Yellow Fever was not reserved for the poor or unfortunate It did not stop for class, race gender, the wealthy or the leaders of this young nation Many families evacuated into the country and were not even accepted into some towns as guards told them to turn around if they had been in contact with the fever Supply and demand of needed items drove prices sky high The people that remained suffered in their homes, hallucinating and starving The haunting toll of the church bells, the mass graves and the desperation of the people, our people, was heart wrenching to read The author did a fantastic job interweaving fictional characters with this real time event.In the Appendix of the book you will find interesting historical information that relates to the writing of the book There are many things that I did not know prior to reading this I love that about Fever 1793 The author took a period of history and held it under a lens to examine it, and then magnified it to this event for the reader to enjoy I would have not found out about the Free African Society, or famous people touched by the fever, or the battle of the doctors in this time period This is an outstanding piece of historical literature I highly recommend this book to any middle grade student and up, studying American History in school. Fever 1793 is based on the actual yellow fever epidemic that hit Philadelphia and wiped out some five thousand people One of those people affected by the fever is Mattie Cook Mattie s mother and grandfather own a coffeehouse in Philadelphia and that is where Mattie spends most of her days.She has plans of her own for the coffeehouse someday and often day dreams of what it would be like when she ran the establishment Mattie s day dreams are shattered when the epidemic hits.Mattie s mother falls ill with yellow fever and Mattie and her grandfather flee the city to take refuge in the country.As they never make it to their destination, uncontrollable hardships fall on Mattie and her grandfather When Mattie finally returns to the city she finds it deserted and the coffeehouse ransacked.Mattie tries to find the courage to manage her life and the coffeehouse after the yellow fever has taken everything away.This is the third novel by Laurie Halse Anderson that I have had a chance to read I love her writing style, and I especially loved this historical fiction I had remembered learning about the yellow fever epidemic, but I never knew the real impact that it had It was also interesting in learning about the true history that Anderson portrayed in her book I became immense in Mattie s daily activities and for the fight of her life Although Speak is still my favorite novel by Anderson, I highly reccomend Fever 1793. When I first found out that I had to read this book, I was not excited about it, because usually school books are boring and have no interest for me in it When I first started to read this book I thought here we go again another boring book, why are doing this to me I got into the book as time went by, and wound up actually liking it This book had become interesting and it was like no other book that I had read before, which was a good thing In the next few paragraphs, I will tell you why I liked this book My first reason for why I like this book is because, it takes you to a certain time in history when things weren t so great for our society When you read this book it does at first seem like this another old boring school book, but then you get into it and realize that it is actually interesting In the book the author tells you about how malaria took over everyones life No one was safe from it whether you were rich or the poorest of the poor, you had a chance of getting infected At the same time this movie wasn t just about a diseases that was spreading it was also about family This girl and her grandfather had to leave her mother behind because she was infected with malaria On their way to their destination, they became closer because they had no choice but to survive on their own So not only is this book about a disease that took over at one point in time, but it s also about how this disease brought families closer together My next reason for liking this book is for the simple fact that out of every book that I had ever read before having to do with any African Americans during that time, this book did not give them this title as being worth nothing at all I wouldn t go as far as saying that they were treated as equals, but they did have jobs that they got payed for and they had homes and friends who were whites I had gotten to a point where I got tired of reading about how useless African Americans were, when in fact in the book they portrayed one black woman as a hero in my eyes She was there for this family when they needed her and she made sure everything was ok until the threat was over This book was just different and it opened my eyes up to books like this that I have never thought that I would ever want to read in my life If you ever read this book maybe you will feel the same as me or either you will feel completely different Either way Fever of 1793 is a book that I would recommend to anyone. Fever 1793 is one of the rare children s novels that I will recommend to adults to read As a middle school English teacher, reading children s and young adult fiction is part of the job Often it is enjoyable, and often I am annoyed because I would rather be reading something else Usually, after a spree of YA literature I must read Faulkner or a chapter from Ulysses to come out even YA books are often formulaic The formula includes a protagonist that is generally angst ridden, complaining about mom and or dad and nervous about how they act in front of their crush They develop a newfound respect for a character in the story who is either old or diseased This character shows unbelievable strength and teaches profound morals And then this character dies I have been told YA books are filled with misery because it is what kids are interested in I guess children are not much different than adults in that regard Back to Fever, though It is about Mattie Cook, who is initially unhappy with her mom, but learns to love her when she might lose her She might lose her because the story takes place during the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia Mattie is very interested in Nathanial and is very nervous and giddy around him She learns to love her very old war hero grandfather He teaches her a lot as the two of them are alone just fighting to survive the epidemic So Anderson certainly follows the formula However, this story is very historically accurate and well researched and she is a very good writer It is worth a look to see eighteenth century United States citizens forced to be their very best or very worst.