Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

It’s the summer of 1793 and Mattie lives with her mom and grandpa above their coffee shop in downtown Philadelphia. Like many kids her age Mattie spends most of her time avoiding chores and thinking about boys – well one boy in particular. Then a fever the likes of which Philadelphia has never seen takes hold of the city. When the fever hits close to home Mattie and her grandfather flee the city. Mattie will have to face her biggest fears, be more resourceful than she ever has been before and quickly learn how to survive in a city destroyed by the illness.

This is another great historical fiction by Laurie Halse Anderson. It is a great introduction to a time in American history that not everyone may be familiar with. It is well researched, and includes snippets from newspapers, letters and journals as well as an information appendix. While some might find historical fiction boring, this is simply not the case with Fever 1793. Fast paced and exciting, the reader will be at the edge of their seat wondering what will happen to Mattie and whether she will survive. Laurie Halse Anderson’s strength as an author lies not in a collection of strong and equal characters, but rather in one strong central character. This is also true of Fever 1793. Mattie is not only relatable in that she acts in ways that teen girls today can identify with, but also in her humour and sarcasm.  Those interested in a strong character or a strong historical setting will really appreciate this book. I really enjoyed it as it was both fun and informative. It comes highly recommended.

Other books by Laurie Halse Anderson: check my review for Chains

If you like reading American historical fiction from this time period, you might also enjoy: Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Year of the Hangman by Gary  Blackwood, Blood on the River by Elisa Lynn Carbone, Besty Zane: The Rose of Fort Henry by Lynda Durrant, Soldier’s Secret by Shelia Solomon Klass, Just Jane by William Lavender

If you enjoyed reading about a plague, you might also enjoy: Time of the Rabies by Robert Laxalt, Last Child by Michael Spooner, The Great Death by John Smelcer

Non-fiction Connection: An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy

Rating: 5Q 3.5P MJS

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