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Grade 6-10-If surviving the first 20 years of a new nationhood weren't challenge enough, the yellow fever epidemic of 1793, centering in Philadelphia, was a crisis of monumental proportions. Murphy chronicles this frightening time with solid research and a flair for weaving facts into fascinating stories, beginning with the fever's emergence on August 3, when a young French sailor died in Richard Denny's boardinghouse on North Water Street. As church bells rang more and more often, it became horrifyingly clear that the de facto capital was being ravaged by an unknown killer. Largely unsung heroes emerged, most notably the Free African Society, whose members were mistakenly assumed to be immune and volunteered en masse to perform nursing and custodial care for the dying. Black-and-white reproductions of period art, coupled with chapter headings that face full-page copies of newspaper articles of the time, help bring this dreadful episode to life. An afterword explains the yellow fever phenomenon, its causes, and contemporary outbreaks, and source notes are extensive and interesting. Pair this work with Laurie Halse Anderson's wonderful novel Fever 1793 (S & S, 2000) and you'll have students hooked on history.
Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6-12. History, science, politics, and public health come together in this dramatic account of the disastrous yellow fever epidemic that hit the nation's capital more than 200 years ago. Drawing on firsthand accounts, medical and non-medical, Murphy re-creates the fear and panic in the infected city, the social conditions that caused the disease to spread, and the arguments about causes and cures. With archival prints, photos, contemporary newspaper facsimiles that include lists of the dead, and full, chatty source notes, he tells of those who fled and those who stayed--among them, the heroic group of free blacks who nursed the ill and were later vilified for their work. Some readers may skip the daily details of life in eighteenth-century Philadelphia; in fact, the most interesting chapters discuss what is now known of the tiny fever-carrying mosquito and the problems created by over-zealous use of pesticides. The current struggle to contain the SARS epidemic brings the "unshakeable unease" chillingly close. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Liked the ending the best. Info was good, though I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrator. Well organized and interesting look into what plagues look like, physically, socially, and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Burgundy Damsel
My son read this as one of his summer reading projects. He learned a lot!Published 1 month ago by Cindy
This book is very well written. Historical facts are accurate. Well worth the read. I highly recommend it.Published 5 months ago by Colleen T. Martin
My fifth grader read it for a book report. He enjoyed it (and got A+)Published 5 months ago by Barbara F
In August 1793, the capital of the new United States, Philadelphia, was in the grip of a heat wave. Suddenly, in the poorer quarters of the city, the poor began to sicken and die... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kurt A. Johnson
This book provides a good context for urban life and disease epidemiology in the colonial period of American history.Published 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
Do not get this book. It is horrible. Better one is the plague part 1 and Part 2. It's really not good.Published 8 months ago by John Moore