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Fever 1793 is INFECTIOUS!

15 Sep

Another powerful student review, y’all, comes from Lara—who has read a book that has captured my attention simply because it tackles a topic that is hard to wrestle with: Death.

Check it out—and be sure to tell Lara what you think of her review!

Mr. F

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Hi! My name is Lara and I recently read
Fever: 1793
. This book is about trying to survive in a world where almost everyone has fled or is sick and dying.

Mattie, a girl living in the 1790’s that works in a coffeehouse with her mother, has to deal with more than she ever imagined. This book took me into another world that left my pulse pounding.

There is no doubt that this is one of my favorite books. The issues are real, but utterly emphasized. Feeling completely alone, deaths of people you love- they are all real. But in Fever: 1793, they are on a huge scale. It was a powerful book that kept me turning pages until late into the night!

Be warned, though- this book made me tear up because it is very sad.

It all begins when Mattie hears that the yellow fever is spreading. Everyone tells her it is a rumor. She ignores it all until her mother gets ill with Fever.

When she watches her mother get bled, a crude medicine where doctors take blood to get rid of poisons in the body (it didn’t work, in fact it killed many fever victims) her mother is asleep, but later her mother wakes up and orders her to go to the country with her grandfather.

Mattie and her army veteran grandfather set off for the country, to the Ludington’s farm- a friend of her mother’s. When the carriage they are riding in stops so a doctor can make sure they don’t have Fever and don’t spread it outside the city, Mattie’s grandfather has a cough and they are forced to the side of the road.

Mattie knows her grandfather is weak, so she goes to get water and berries. As Mattie is gathering fruits, which she found after the berries, she begins to feel cold. She then blacks out.

Mattie wakes in a giant room full of Fever victims with two doctors speaking French and helping patients. Mattie realizes that she has Fever. Mrs. Flagg, a nurse that brang her food to her, is a kind old lady that Mattie’s grandfather likes.

Mattie recovers because the French doctors knew how to treat patients better and fed them well. Mattie and her grandfather head for home.

When Mattie gets back to the coffeehouse, it is deserted and things are stolen. Her mother has run off. She and her grandfather live with little food.

One night, thieves break in again only to be scared away by grandfather and his sword. But, grandfather dies. Mattie is devastated and buries him in his nightclothes.

Mattie finds a little girl named Nell, whose mother is dead. She takes care of her, because the orphanage is full. Then, Mattie finds Eliza, who used to work in the coffeehouse. They work together to help ill people until Nell and Eliza’s nephews get sick. They try everything. Mattie is so tired that she just rests on the ground for a moment outside…

Mattie wakes to find a cold, light dusting of frost on the ground. She brings the sick children outside. People begin to pour into the city as the word spreads.

Finally. Mattie’s mother returns. They are reunited and Mattie informs her of her grandfather’s death. She is sad, but happy to see Mattie. This book has a bittersweet ending, because many people have died but even more have been reunited.

One of the most frequent concepts woven into the book was facing death– the death of others, the possible death of you.

    Sickness.

    Heat.

    Death.

The horrible truths echo around the book as if they we words spoken into a cave. There is happiness at the end, which seems even happier after all of the sadness.

Fever is a must-read.

 

My Rating for Fever 1793: Way 90

      

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Number the Stars is a Lois Lowry Phenomenon

9 Sep

After a long layoff, I’m Always Right is BACK! Many thanks to Midori for writing the first student review of the year. Remember that you can leave comments that either agree or disagree with Midori’s ratings.

Mr. Ferriter

(PS: Will YOU be the next person to write for I’m Always RIGHT?!)

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Hi Everyone! I am here to write about an amazing historical fiction book called Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry. This book was given the Newberry Honor Award which therefore meant that it had to be a pretty decent book.

I was first introduced to this book in third grade when my teacher recommended me read a Lois Lowry book for my book box. I checked out this book and was immediately intrigued. Ever since, it has been one of my favorite books. In this interesting book, Lois Lowry mixes the history of war and freedom with a story of friendship to create a historical fiction masterpiece.

This book takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1943 during the time when food was scarce and Nazis roamed the streets of Copenhagen. Annemarie Johansen’s best friend Ellen is Jewish and she isn’t safe because the Nazis are relocating all the Denmark Jews.

Ellen moves in with the Johansen’s and pretends to be part of the family until one night, Nazis storm into the Johansen’s house saying how they know that Annemarie and Ellen are best friends and how they think that they may be hiding her.

Ellen and Annemarie are in the bedroom when they hear the Nazis come in. Annemarie rips off Ellen’s Star of David necklace and throws it into a green chest right before the Nazis storm into the room. Once the Nazis leave, Ms. Johansen knows that they are still not safe for they almost got caught.

She takes them way out of Copenhagen to her brother’s farm, Uncle Henrik’s farm. They all stay there until they can figure out a way to get to freedom in Sweden.

They thought that they were safe until Annemarie went on a walk one day and saw Nazis walking around. She immediately ran as fast as she could back to the farm and said that she will always remember that squeaking sound coming from the shiny gloves the Nazis wore. Uncle Henrik and Ms. Johansen knew that they had to figure out a plan quickly or all of Ellen’s family would be relocated.

They decided to make a boat so that Ellen’s family and other Jews can sail safely to Sweden. Uncle Henrik had just finished the boat when he heard Nazis coming their way.

He told everyone in the boat to hide inside some of the crates or behind them. They all did as he said right as the Nazis came their way. The Nazis knew that there were some Jews in the relative location of where Uncle Henrik was but they didn’t know where so they were bringing search dogs around to sniff them out.

Fortunately, Uncle Henrik was already a step ahead of the game and had given everyone white handkerchiefs to carry with them. Uncle Henrik knew that Nazis were going to come sooner or later with dogs so he put a chemical on all of the handkerchiefs that makes the Jews impossible to sniff out. The Nazis left empty handed. After the last Nazi was out of sight, everyone said their good byes and the boat set off.

The book fast forwards two years where Annemarie and her mother are at their house and everyone had their window open because on the streets people carried around flags to celebrate the end of the dreadful war. They opened the window in Annemarie’s room when she sees the green chest and opens it up. Inside she finds Ellen’s Star of David necklace and says that she will always remember her best friend and the day that she gained freedom.

I was never really interested in historical fiction until I read this book. Lois Lowry is an amazing author and I am very glad that I read this wonderful book.

My Rating: Way 80