Book Review: Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Yes, I read this book because of coronavirus and I’m very grateful that we have more medical knowledge now than we did in 1793…

No comments

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite quote: “Life was a battle, and mother a tired and bitter captain.”

Yes, I read this book because of coronavirus and I’m very grateful that we have more medical knowledge now than we did in 1793…

Fever 1793 follows a girl named Mattie Cook as she witnesses the 1793 Yellow Fever epidemic sweep through Philadelphia. She lives with her mother and grandfather and works in her family’s coffee shop, primarily preoccupied with ambitions about expanding the family business and nervousness around her crush. But when people all around the city begin dying of yellow fever, Mattie must find a way to survive…

Fever 1793 is often listed as YA, but it reads more like middle grade. Although Mattie is only a little younger than me, she seemed childish. I didn’t find this book extremely engaging, but I know I would have loved it had I read it 2-3 years ago. Laurie Halse Anderson is a super talented writer and she obviously did her research. Before I picked up this book, I had never heard of the 1793 Yellow Fever epidemic. It’s an incredibly unique topic for historical fiction; I can’t think of any other novels written about this event. And unfortunately, its relevance today is indubitable. I did wish that Anderson delved deeper into the medical/science-y aspect of the story and talked more about how the fever was contracted and spread. Obviously, 18th century doctors didn’t have much knowledge about disease, but I wanted to learn more. The references to historical figures like George Washington, etc. were really entertaining to read, since this book takes place in the time period I have to study so much for AP U.S. Government. But by far, the most entertaining part was Grandfather. I loved him and his personality. I would definitely recommend Fever 1793 for fellow historical fiction fans who like reading middle grade/younger YA!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s