Fever I793

“Where’s Polly?” I asked as I dropped the bucket down the well. “Did you pass by the blacksmith’s?”

“I spoke with her mother, with Mistress Logan,” Mother answered softly, looking at her neat rows of carrots.

“And?” I waved a mosquito away from my face.

“It happened quickly. Polly sewed by candlelight after dinner. Her mother repeated that over and over, ‘she sewed by candlelight after dinner.’ And then she collapsed.”

I released the handle and the bucket splashed, a distant sound.

“Matilda, Polly’s dead.”

August 1793. Fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook is ambitious, adventurous, and sick to death of listening to her mother. Mattie has plans of her own. She wants to turn the Cook Coffeehouse into the finest business in Philadelphia, the capital of the new United States.

But the waterfront is abuzz with reports of disease. “Fever” spreads from the docks and creeps toward Mattie’s home, threatening everything she holds dear.

As the cemeteries fill with fever victims, fear turns to panic, and thousands flee the city. Then tragedy strikes the coffeehouse, and Mattie is trapped in a living nightmare. Suddenly, her struggle to build a better life must give way to something even more important – the fight to stay alive.

The plot rages like the epidemic itself.

—The New York Times Book Review

One Comment

  1. Posted January 30, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Regards for posting “Fever I793”. I actuallywill surely wind up being back for even more reading and commenting here in the near future.

    Thank you, Aida

4 Trackbacks

  • By Room 1 » Book Talk: Fever, 1793 on August 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    […] here for Laurie Halse Anderson’s website on Fever. It has music, video links, current even links, and more. Enjoy! addthis_url = […]

  • By Yellow Fever in Philadelphia « 1794 on November 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    […] here is a novel, Fever 1793, set in Philadelphia during the epidemic. Posted in […]

  • […] Date reviewed: 4/2/04                   Age/Grade:  YA        IL 9-12                   author’s website […]

  • By Mystery about history | Rear in Gear on May 1, 2013 at 9:57 am

    […] and followed up by requests for similar books.  One girl came in all fired up after reading Laurie Halse’s Anderson’s Fever 1793 wanting more books about slavery – “but not true ones.”  That made me smile! […]

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    Reviews & Awards


    • National Awards
    • American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
    • International Reading Association Teacher's Choice
    • Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award
    • Junior Library Guild Selection
    • Children's Book-of-the-Month Club selection
    • The New York Public Library's Best 2001 Books for the Teenager
    • State Awards
    • California Young Reader Medal nominee (2004)
    • Nutmeg Award nominee (Connecticut)
    • Sunshine State Reader nominee (Florida)
    • Georgia Children's Book Award nominee
    • Rebecca Caudill Award (Illinois)
    • Young Hoosier Book Award nominee (Indiana)
    • Iowa Teen Book Award nominee
    • Kentucky Blue Grass Award nominee
    • Massachusetts Children's Book Award Honor Book
    • Great Lakes' Great Books Award (Michigan)
    • Maud Hart Lovelace Youth Reading Award nominee (Minnesota)
    • Mark Twain Award nominee (Missouri)
    • Golden Sower Young Adult Award nominee (Nebraska)
    • Garden State Teen Book Award nominee (New Jersey)
    • South Carolina Young Adult Book Award nominee
    • Tayshas High School Reading List (Texas)
    • Volunteer State Book Award runner-up (Tennesee)
    • Beehive Award nominee (Utah)
    • Virginia Young Reader's Award nominee
    • Bookseller and Media Recognition
    • Starred review - Bank Street College of Education's The Best Children's Books of 2001
    • American Bookseller Pick of Lists
    • Starred review - School Library Journal
    • Publishers Weekly Bestseller

    • “ Extremely well researched, Anderson's novel paints a vivid picture of the seedy waterfront, the devastation the disease wreaks on a once thriving city, and the bitterness of neighbor toward neighbor as those suspected of infection are physically cast aside.” — Publisher's Weekly
    • “Readers will be drawn in by the characters and will emerge with a sharp and graphic picture of another world. ” — School Library Journal
    • “While interesting to children of many ages, this could also make history come alive for kids studying the post-Revolutionary War period.” — J.E.M. © AudioFil
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  • Fever Questions

    Fever 1793 Questions

    What inspired you to write FEVER 1793?

    I read an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer in August of 1993 that gave the details about the epidemic. I was stunned - I had never heard of the epidemic, and American History is my hobby. When I read about the courage of the people who struggled to survive those days, I knew I had to write about it.

    Was the epidemic really as extreme as portrayed in the book?

    Absolutely. It is hard for us to imagine how scary it was during those weeks. Some people truly thought that the epidemic would continue until every person in the city was dead.

    Where can I learn more about the epidemic?

    Run, don’t walk, to your nearest library or bookstore and get a copy of Jim Murphy’s non-fiction masterpiece, AN AMERICAN PLAGUE: THE TRUE AND TERRIFYING STORY OF THE YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMIC OF 1793.

    Where did the parrot, King George, come from? What happened to him?

    You get to see a young King George The Parrot in FORGE. I think that after he flew away in FEVER 1793, he found a home with a family of fiddle players.

    What happens after the book? Will there be a sequel?

    I've thought about a sequel, but it's going to be a couple of years before I can start writing it. Mattie and Nathaniel will definitely get married, I can promise you that.

  • Fever 1793 – Teacher’s Section

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    Teachers! Send us your Fever 1793 lesson plans! Be sure to include your name and your school so we can put in the appropriate copyright notice. We would also love to link to any online classroom projects. Email queenlouise AT writerlady DOT com. Thank you!

    Yellow Fever

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