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ARCHIVE - BOTM discussions > November Pick: FEVER 1793

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message 1: by M.G. (last edited Nov 01, 2014 06:26AM) (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments The membership voted for
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson Fever 1793

Here is the GoodReads description of this award winning historical fiction novel:

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.

Remember, all BOTM threads stay active for six months, to give everyone plenty of time to read and discuss!


message 2: by Evelyne (new)

Evelyne Holingue (evelyne_holingue) | 26 comments It is an outstanding novel by one of the best contemporary American writers for children. I read this book before Laurie Halse Anderson became famous with her YA novel Speak. Fever 1793 is a great exemple of a successful historical fiction novel. I am looking forward to reading comments about it.


message 3: by Maranda (new)

Maranda Russell | 52 comments Just finished this tonight. I really liked it overall. It is rather sad and dark, but considering the subject matter, how could it not be? I always liked books about various kinds of illnesses though, so that may be part of why I enjoyed it. I loved the historical tidbits about Philadelphia spread throughout the book.


message 4: by Evelyne (new)

Evelyne Holingue (evelyne_holingue) | 26 comments Maranda wrote: "Just finished this tonight. I really liked it overall. It is rather sad and dark, but considering the subject matter, how could it not be? I always liked books about various kinds of illnesses thou..."

It was a hard period of time, but I still find the story filled with inspiration about human resilience in particular. I also loved learning about old Philadelphia and I agree that kids enjoy the parts about the illness.


message 5: by Teddy (new)

Teddy | 7 comments It is such a great historical fiction. Fever 1793 might even be one of my favorite historical fictions ever! It is really dark, but considering the topic...


message 6: by M.G. (last edited Nov 11, 2014 05:30PM) (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments Just finished --

The outbreak of yellow fever in Philadelphia is an event I hadn't read much about. And a timely topic while we think about the threat of new epidemics in our world of ebola and resistant pathogens! I'm just imagining how we might react in our own cities. This was a good coming-of-age story, as a young girl is forced to grow up fast when she finds herself alone in a city that is no longer functioning on the most basic levels.

Halse had some well-drawn characters. Eliza's story was interesting -- to learn that Philadelphia was a central location for free African Americans of that time and the heroic role many played during the epidemic.


message 7: by Evelyne (new)

Evelyne Holingue (evelyne_holingue) | 26 comments I agree with you that this story, although published several years ago, is still relevant, especially with the recent Ebola issues. Good historical fiction is timeless, and Fever 1793 is a great exemple.


message 8: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
I read this recently, though I don't remember details. I don't think I'll re-read, as I am totally swamped and dropping stuff right and left right now! Tough time of year.


message 9: by Evelyne (new)

Evelyne Holingue (evelyne_holingue) | 26 comments Rebecca wrote: "I read this recently, though I don't remember details. I don't think I'll re-read, as I am totally swamped and dropping stuff right and left right now! Tough time of year."

Good luck with your projects, then. I hear you since I am also busy with my recent published book and at work on a new one. Best to you.


message 10: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen I'm sorry to have to pull away from this one, Fever. I'd read it and really liked it before, but haven't been able to force myself past the first twenty pages this time.

Not a reflection on the book. I'm probably in the same boat as Rebecca: swamped with other things.


message 11: by Kiya (new)

Kiya OMG I am dying to read that book!! I couldn't read it at a certain age because my mom said it was too depressing and she didnt like for me to read about people dying of illnesses. Im gonna be a pre-teen next year and I am STILL waiting to read Fever whatever the number is.


message 12: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
Kiya--it is a bit depressing! And the number is a year--tell your mom it's history. When I finished I definitely knew more about life in 1793 than I did before.


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan | 25 comments What wonderful historical fiction. I really enjoyed this book. The author put a lot of effort into accurately reporting the details of the time period.


message 14: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Davenport | 1 comments Are fifth-graders too young to hear this read? I did read it several years ago and thought it was fantastic. I'll have to get a copy and reread it soon.


message 15: by M.G. (last edited Jan 14, 2015 06:35PM) (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments Kathleen wrote: "Are fifth-graders too young to hear this read? I did read it several years ago and thought it was fantastic. I'll have to get a copy and reread it soon."

I think it would be an excellent fit for 5th grade. It doesn't gloss over the illness and death, but it's not written in a gratuitously shocking way.


message 16: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Eisenmeier (carpelibrumbooks) | 73 comments I read this perhaps a year ago, and I remember really liking it. I thought Laurie Halse Anderson did a great job bringing the period to life.


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