When her friend Polly dies of a mysterious fever, Matilda is in shock. It doesn’t seem possible that Polly could have been so healthy yesterday and dead by the morning. But in a few days’ time, the shock of Polly’s death is overshadowed by the terrifying reality of a yellow fever epidemic that leaves no one unscathed. When her mother falls ill, Mattie and her grandfather try to flee Philadelphia, only to fall ill themselves on the road. They recover and return to a changed city–full of crying orphans, ruthless thieves, mass graves, and starving survivors. In order to survive, Mattie must learn to defend herself, do her best to help the sick, and cling to the hope that her mother may still be alive.
This exciting historical survival story will appeal to middle grade and teen readers. If you liked Fever 1793, you might like A Time of Angels by Karen Hesse or An American Plague by Jim Murphy.