- Age Range: 10 and up
- Grade Level: 5 - 6
- Lexile Measure: 0660 (What's this?)
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (February 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375843086
- ISBN-13: 978-0375843082
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel Paperback – February 10, 2015
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Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, September 2, 2013:
"Hopkinson adeptly recreates the crowded, infested streets of London, but it’s her distinct, layered characters and turbulent, yet believable plot that make this a captivating read."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, October 2013:
"Although detailing a dire period in history, Eel tells his story in a matter-of-fact and accessible manner, making his story palatable and entertaining."
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
DEBORAH HOPKINSON has written more than 40 books for young readers. Her picture books include Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book; Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book and a Junior Library Guild Selection; A Boy Called Dickens; and the ALA Notable Book Apples to Oregon. She is also the author of the middle-grade novel Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906. Visit her at DeborahHopkinson.com.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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Back on the streets, with a bad man from his past looking for him would seem like the worst thing that could happen. But Eel has a secret. This secret is costing him money each week that he does not have due to the boy that caused him to lose his job. His desperate attempt to make money forces him to make decisions that would terrify grown men, let alone a young boy.
With all of this going on, Eel goes to see a friend of his only to find the father of the family dying from “the blue death” which was cholera. The common theory is that this disease is spread by poisonous air, but Dr. Snow has a different theory. When he enlists Eel to help him investigate and support his theory.
Working against the clock amid the death knocking at almost every door in the neighborhood, Eel faces friends and foes to help the Doctor. This just might be the best thing that has ever happened to him.
This book was written for children 10 years and up. I am way past 10 and was thoroughly engrossed in this story. There was history, mystery, science, intrigue and relationships to wonder and worry about. The story is based on real people and the actual cholera epidemic in London.
I loved the way Hopkinson wrapped the true events in a great story that adds depth to the story to keep the reader’s interest high. As a bonus, at the end of the novel, she has biographical information on each of the characters that were based upon real people, including pictures of them. She also tells the reader about the books available for more information on the Broad Street cholera epidemic and the efforts of Dr. John Snow to stop the Blue Death from spreading.
I would recommend this book to adults and children that are interested in history and mysteries. It would be a great read-along for a classroom or with your child if it seems too long for him or her to read alone. The story will keep their interest.
If you don’t have any children to share this great book with, read it yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review
The team of teachers I work with has created a cross-disciplinary unit about epidemics. As such, we're always on the lookout for good historical fiction that can help us explore the impact of diseases on the way people live and think. We use Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever 1793, Patricia Reilly Giff's Nory Ryan's Song, and Caroline Cooney's Code Orange.This is an excellent addition to our collection.