Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fever 1793

This has been a very big Laurie Halse Anderson year for me. I’ve already zipped through Wintergirls, Speak, and Catalyst. When I saw that a student had a copy of Fever 1793, I was counting down until it was my turn to borrow it.
This is the author’s first novel that I’ve read that doesn’t revolve around a middle class girl’s descent into madness. Too bad because I always love reading about that! This time, the novel is about Mattie, a girl who tries to stay sane as the world around her goes mad. The story is set in Philadelphia during an epidemic of yellow fever.

The amount of research that went into the story is excellent. I learned about the history of a city and how people react to an epidemic. I wasn’t in the states when the swine flu or avian flu were occurring, but I wonder if that is what inspired Anderson to write this. While there wasn’t as much fascinating internal dialogue as in her other works, Fever 1793 would be a great addition to any historical fiction library and a good starter for someone who wants to dip their toe in that genre.

Now bring on more books about crazies, LHA.

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