Thursday, September 18

The Great Trouble

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel
Deborah Hopkinson

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-0375848186
Publisher: Knopf Books
Date of publication: September 10, 2013
Age: Grades 5 and up
Genre: Historical Fiction

Themes: epidemics, scientific process, investigation, London,

Eel makes a living doing odd jobs and mudlarking in the Thames for bits to sell. He needs four shillings a week to hide his secret and scrape by a living. So when he loses some work due to an outbreak of cholera, Eel will do anything he can for some pay. Enter in Dr. John Snow, a scientist who has a very different theory on how cholera is spread and needs an assistant to help prove that it is not spread by bad air, but by bad water. Will Eel be able to gather the evidence he needs and keep his secret? Especially as his own friends and associates start dying from the disease?

A rather fascinating read on the outbreak of disease and how the scientific process works to reverse it. Dr. John Snow is a real person and he really did work on cholera outbreaks, specifically this one on Broad Street in London, 1854. So the research that went into all that part--the historically based factual parts--were great and I learned a lot. Eel and his story...didn't quite do it for me. It was jumpy and a tad unbelievable (especially the end). So that's why this is between three and four stars: loved part of the book, only sorta liked the other part.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment