Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
A quick, but satisfying read. Fever 1793 is a coming-of-age tale set during Philadelphia's 1793 yellow fever epidemic. Anderson does a wonderful job evoking post-Independence Philadelphia. Beyond that, the book is well-plotted and filled with fullbodied, believable characters. Written for the young adult audience, the book is nevertheless a good read for adults. I have no doubt that one of the reasons Fever 1793 has won so many honors is that teens will have no problem relating to Anderson's spunky protagonist.
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.