Fever 1793
By Laurie Halse Anderson


The setting is 1793. Matilda Cook lives in a coffee shop right in the middle of the city of Philadelphia. It has only been 20 years since America has won its independence from Britain. President George Washington is in office. Women are considered unequal to men. African Americans are no better than the women. But back then, those were trivial matters.


The book Fever of 1793 was written from the point of view of Matilda Cook, a 15 year-old girl who lives in Philadelphia. It all starts when one of Matilda's servants, Polly, dies unexpectedly. Soon, before Matilda knows it, she's in the middle of a city-wide epidemic that is now known as the yellow fever. The attempts at containing it are feeble; there is no guaranteed cure. In a sick twist of events, Matilda's mother, Lucille, gets sick with the fever. Lucille is afraid to get Matilda sick, so she sends her and Matilda's grandfather out to their cousin's house in the countryside. But the fever has spread to all corners of the city. When Matilda's grandfather gets sick with the fever as well, they are thrown out of the wagon they're traveling in and are deserted 10 miles out of Philadelphia. With her grandfather as sick as he is, Matilda can only hold on for so long before she's infected too. Too weak and too tired, Matilda falls unconscious until she awakes at a nearby makeshift hospital, about a week later. When she and her grandfather are strong enough, they travel back to their coffee house only to discover that Lucille is gone. That same night, thieves break into their house, resulting in Matilda's grandfather's death and her new label as a soldier. After a couple days, she finds a young girl named Nell and her old friend/servant, Eliza. She stays with Eliza and takes care of Nell. But when Nell grows sick with the fever, it seems that all the hope she had building inside her crumbles. But because she is still young, she has that spirit of life inside her that gives her the idea to take them back to the coffee house. They hold on there for many weeks until the first frost comes. Soon, the pandemic dies down and life begins to return to Philadelphia. They begin rebuilding what's left out of the rubble that is now their home, once again.


Rising Action: The fever breaks out and Matilda's mom gets sick. They are kicked out of their wagon.

Climax: The thieves break in and grandfather dies.

Falling action: Matilda fins Nell and Eliza and hold on for as long as they can

Resolution: The first frost comes and the epidemic is eradicated.

Character Analysis

Matilda: The young protagonist in his novel. Very carefree, yet very hardworking. She's strong. She proves to be one of the strongest during the fever.

Mother ( Lucille ) : Very strict and proper woman. But under all that armor is a very loving woman. She cares deeply for Matilda and Grandfather and Eliza. She will go to the moon and back for the people that she loves.

Grandfather: Very humorous throughout the plot. He is hardworking and has the sass that Matilda seems to have inherited. He worked with President George Washington. He will also go above and beyond for the people he loves.


The original idea for this project was to make a iMovie about the book Fever 1793. We had a few technical difficulties with putting it together, so we went to our second option TACKK. All of our members equally contributed to this project. Our rate of the book is 8/10. Though we enjoyed it, we thought it could've been more interesting.

Book Comprehension Analysis by Alynah Orozco, Tabitha Haynes, Austin S., Jade Braumfield, and Zoey Pope.

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