Kristin's Reviews > An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

An American Plague by Jim  Murphy
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's review
Mar 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010

I saw this book in the monthly book orders I send home with students from Scholastic. I thought it would make an interesting companion to Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever 1793. I was right! Jim Murphy has written a very good non-fiction book about the Yellow Fever epidemic that's appropriate for middle school students.

This fact-filled book is easy to read and contains many quotes and anecdotes, making it far less stuffy than a book written for an adult audience might be. While this book may be a bit too difficult for some of my struggling readers, it will make a great companion to Fever 1793 and a great addition to my planned Early American History literature circles!

I finished this book last night. I'm not sure if the book will sustain my students' interest, but there are a few great chapters. I especially enjoyed the information about the Free African Society. I think it will intrigue students to know the former slaves provided aid willingly to the white Philadelphia residents with the hope it might elevate their status in the eyes' of the whites. Unfortunately, after the threat of the plague was over, the members of the Free African Society fell out of favor.

Overall, this book will be an excellent companion to Fever 1793, but not a book I would have students read by itself.

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