Monday, January 23, 2012

Fever 1793

Elizabeth's class at school has been listening to the teacher read Fever 1793. The book, following the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia, made quite an impression on her, and she has mentioned it and the story several times since they began the book. I asked her to write a review of the book for me and she agreed.
Fever is about a yellow fever epidemic in 1793. A girl named Matilda, also called Mattie, is in Philadelphia when the sickness strikes. At the beginning, she is 13 or 14 years old, and life is easy. She likes the painter, Nathaniel Benson, and has a best friend, Polly, the servant. Polly dies from a strange disease. Not too long after, bodies are piled on a cart to bring to graveyards. Some are mistaken for dead and buried still alive. Sometime in the middle of the book, Mattie sees someone carrying a death cart and dump a woman on the side of the street. She was still alive, and it was Mattie's mother. Mattie must be sent away so she does not get the disease from her mother. Most of Philadelphia is either abandoned by people or the people die. Mattie also gets the fever but survives. At the end of the book, the first frost comes and stops the disease so the rest of the people are saved. Life continues as it was at the beginning.

Elizabeth has even taken an interest in the face on the cover of the book and I've found a few sketches like this one laying around the art shelf. Clearly this book has grabbed her attention!


  1. This sounds fantastic, and just my sort of thing. I love traveling back in time and contemplating how much has changed and how lucky we really are to be living in our current time. Thanks for the review, Elizabeth.

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