I have heard many kids and adults talking about this book, and I have wanted to read this book for years — but I have always thought of it when kids were coming in to get it for their summer reading assignments (and I didn’t want to request a copy because I didn’t want to keep a kid from getting it in time to do his/her homework). I finally saw it on the shelf when I was working during a non-summer season, so I decided to hurry up and check it out. Boy, was I glad I did!
This was one of the best historical fiction books I have EVER read — a story of how one girl [barely] lives through a the Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic of 1793. This epidemic actually killed about 5000 people, which amounted to roughly 10% of Philadelphia’s population, over the course of 3 months. Each chapter begins with a quote from a primary source document, such as a letter or a newspaper article, which helps to emphasize the actual mind-set and reactions of people at that time. Now I know why so many teachers have added this book to their summer reading lists!