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Fever 1793

by Laurie Halse Anderson |  Grades: 4-8  |  Ages: 10-14  |  Lexile Level: 580

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson Teacher Guide, Lesson Plans, Novel UnitAbout Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

An epidemic of fever sweeps through the streets of 1793 Philadelphia in this novel from Laurie Halse Anderson where "the plot rages like the epidemic itself" ( The New York Times Book Review).

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.

Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.


"A gripping story about living morally under the shadow of rampant death." -- The New York Times Book Review

"A vivid work, rich with well-drawn characters." -- VOYA

"The plot rages like the epidemic itself." -- The New York Times Book Review

Biographical Note About Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson (1961 -   ) is a New York Times bestselling author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. Her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Chains and Speak, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also received the 2009 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and Laurie was chosen for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Pennsylvania, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @HalseAnderson, or visit her at  

Available Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Novel Units, and Activities for Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson: