I found this book in my classroom in 5th or 6th grade and decided I wanted to read it. Not for an assignment just for casual reading. For most people, including myself, it is difficult to stick with a book that doesn't interest you. So as a kid if I wasn't sucked into the world of the book, I won't read it, but for some reason, I could not stop reading this book. The Goodreads summary reads:
"It's late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook doesn't get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have overrun her family's coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie's concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family's small business into a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie's struggle to build a new life must give way to a new fight-the fight to stay alive."
How this book drew me in, I'm not sure, but it definitely left a mark on me. Though I read it so many years ago, I still remember that this is the book that taught me that if you bite your cheek, it can stop you from crying; a habit I still do today.
Implementation in the Classroom (Late Elementary Level)
I would use this in the classroom as an invitation into this time period in the classroom. While the country was just starting a people not much older than those in the classroom were faced with these monstrous challenges. I would emphasize different parts of the American culture during this time by using example from the book. I can show pictures of Philadelphia at the time when the Yellow Fever struck. I would also us this novel to invite students to write about inferred character descriptions. I would love to use this novel to teach characterization.