Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Publication Date/Version: March 2002/Paperback
Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks
Pages: 251
Age Group: 10 and up

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.

Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

Although this book is meant for a younger audience, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and I believe other teens will be able to as well. The writing didn't strike me as aimed toward a younger age group, and the subject matter certainly didn't either. What Mattie goes through is horrific, yet inspiring.

What initially intrigued me about Fever 1793 was the subject matter. I absolutely love books where the main character has to struggle to survive. Some of my favorites include Exodus and Life As We Knew It. This plot did not disappoint. There were a few twists, many of them sad, but they kept the story moving. Mattie's struggle is terrifying, but there's also a lot of hope to be found in what she achieves.

All of the characters were likable, especially Mattie and Eliza. I could easily picture each character and their quirks. The whole situation was portrayed very well; all of the situations were very believable. I even found myself laughing at one part, although it really wasn't funny, just because it reminded me of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

I was very happy with Mattie's growth and progression throughout the story. By the end, after suffering through many hardships, she becomes a strong, independent young lady who could be seen as a role model. The ending of Fever 1793 left me satisfied and content.

Overall: Although designed for younger audiences, Fever 1793 is an inspiring, hopeful tale for any teen.

My Advice: Borrow this from your local library. It's not a keeper on my shelf, but it's definitely worth reading.


  1. Thanks for the review. I have this book in my classroom library for my students (7th graders). I haven't read it yet, and you're review will make it easier for me to recommend it.

  2. Of course. :) Yes, I would definitely recommend it to them.

  3. Just discovered your blog and I love it, I've already added myself to your followers so I'll be up to date on what's happening here. :)

    I've read two other books by LHA, which were AMAZING, but not this one yet - I am tempted though after reading your review!

    ps: I see that you're currently reading the Prophecy of the Sisters, but I've never seen that cover before! Which edition is that??

  4. Aw, thanks. :)

    I was surprised when I received the book too! I believe that it's the first cover. They weren't happy with it, so it was revised to the cover with the twin girl statues.


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