Fever 1793

by Laurie Halse Anderson

What is the Fever of 1793 about?

The Fever of 1793, also know as Yellow Fever, was one of the most deadliest diseases

in the United States. The state that got hit hardest with the fever was Philadelphia. The effects of Yellow Fever were vomiting up blood, loss of appetite, rise in body heat ,and sometimes death. This Fever killed more that thousands within a matter of months.

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Character Analysis

The main character in the book Matilda Cook goes through many ups and downs. In the beginning of the book life was normal for fourteen year old Mattie Cook. She was currently living with her mom and her grandfather. At the time they were also running a coffee shop in Philadelphia. There along to help run the coffee shop was Eliza, she was the chef of the shop. Matilda was a very responsible person. She would help run the shop, clean the house, run errands, and garden. Matilda was also a very caring person as well. For example Matilda would also talk to her grandfather about how his day was day and what had been doing. Matilda has a very caring and responsible personality. Life is perfect so far for Matilda and her family. But once Yellow Fever starts to spread more and more Matilda is starting worry if Yellow Fever will come their way. Each day the Fever gets worse and more people are leaving the town and closing down their stores. The town of Philadelphia becomes a ghost town. The population is dropping fast due to Yellow Fever.When things couldn't seem to be getting any worse they do. Matilda's mom is not feeling too well. A doctor comes to exam her. She has all of the symptoms of Yellow Fever. Matilda Starts panicking, things are racing through her mind like will my mother die, will she make it, and will i get sick and die too? The next Matilda's mom demands Matilda and her Grandfather to leave the town immediately. She does not want any of them too suffer from the sickness. They also close down the coffee shop until the sickness is cleared. As they leave and say their goodbyes they head out on a carriage to the next town over. On the way over all that Matilda can think about is how how fast her life can change. Like what if I never get to see my mother again? When they reach the gate the are stopped by guards. They are told that they are not allowed to cross over. Matilda and her Grandfather start walking back when her Grandfather starts getting pains. They sit and rest for what feels like days. They are stranded with nothing to eat or drink. When all of a sudden Matilda starts walking to look for food she faints, when she wakes up she see's that she is in a hospital. Matilda is then diagnosed with Yellow Fever. Matilda went from being happy to scared and frightened. The more Matilda is sick the more depressed she is. When She leaves the clinic Free from Yellow Fever she goes home and faces yet another conflict that night. They got robbed and her grandfather dies from getting injured. Now Matilda is alone and scared. She has the most frightened look on her face no one is their to help her. The next morning Matilda goes out and tries to look for Eliza and her mom. When she runs into a little girl. She is also alone. Her mother had passed away from Yellow Fever. AS she take the little girl with her she finally finds Eliza! She is thrilled with excitement she runs in to her arms and hugs her. Eliza invites them back to the house. Matilda and he the little girl stay with Eliza until the the frost comes to kill the Fever. Weeks past and frost finally comes. Yellow Fever is officially gone. All of the people start coming back to the town and they start opening up their shops again. Everyone starts coming back including Matilda's mom! When Matilda see's her mom she runs up to her and hugs her with such excitement. Matilda's mom is alive. The next day excitement runs through the town as George Washington finally returns home from leaving the town from Yellow Fever. And the coffee shop is finally back in business. Matilda had faced many conflicts throughout this story. But She always managed to keep calm. Matilda is a brave warrior. Life was finally normal for fourteen year old Matilda Cook.


In the story Matilda Cook shows how brave of a person she is. For example Matilda suffered through many challenges like deaths, sickness, and hunger in the story. She was brave enough to survive all of the pain and fight through it all. In the story Matilda's grandfather dies. Matilda was very close to her grandfather, she had a special bond with him unlike anyone else. Matilda also was sick with Yellow Fever a lot throughout the book, her mom also suffered Yellow Fever. In the end both Matilda and her mom survived through the worst and made it out alive. In the story Matilda lived in a rustic time period of 1793, the worst year of the Yellow Fever breakout. Matilda lived in the town of Philadelphia, where Yellow Fever got hit the hardest. Thousands of people died in Philadelphia from Yellow Fever. The Fever also caused the coffee shop to go out of business. It is crazy to think that in just a matter of months your life could be turned around completely.


I would definitely Praise Yellow Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book showed how much of a warrior Matilda and her family really were. The Fever of 1793 is an actual tragedy that happened and was caused by Yellow Fever. This book taught me how much you should take your life for granted because you never know what could happen next. Matilda is definitely a strong , brave , courageous person. This is definitely a book that I would praise to someone, it will keep you on your toes the whole time.