An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (Hardcover)
Powerful and riveting, this Newbery Honor–winning narrative describes the illness known as yellow fever, the toll it took on the nation’s capital—and the eventual triumph over the disease. National Book Award Finalist and Winner of the Sibert Medal.
Philadelphia, 1793: the capital of the United States and the largest city in North America is devastated by an apparently incurable disease, cause unknown . . . Drawing on first-hand accounts, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia’s free Black citizens in combating yellow fever, the efforts and intrigues of doctors and politicians—among them George Washington—and the search for the fever’s causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward. Thoroughly researched, unflinching in its discussion of medical details, and generously illustrated with archival prints and photographs, this award-winning account offers a glimpse into life in the United States in the years immediately following our nation’s birth while drawing timely parallels to modern-day epidemics. Bibliography, map, index.
About the Author
Jim Murphy's nonfiction books have received numerous awards, among them two Newbery Honors, the Sibert Medal, three Orbis Pictus awards, the Margaret A. Edwards award, the James Madison Book Award, and a National Book Award nomination. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jim lives in Maplewood, NJ, with his family.
"A mesmerizing, macabre account...powerful evocative prose... compelling subject matter...fascinating discussion...valuable lesson in reading and writing history. Stellar." KIRKUS REVIEWS, STARRED REVIEW Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Leisurely, lyrical tone...Murphy injects the events with immediacy...archival photographs...bring the story to life...comprehensive history." PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY Publishers Weekly
"laudable insight...Readers view the panic from several vantage points...allows his audience to share the contemporary complexity...truly absorbing" THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS, STARRED REVIEW The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred
"solid research and a flair for weaving facts into fascinating stories...extensive and interesting...you'll have students hooked on history." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, STARRED REVIEW School Library Journal, Starred
"History, science, politics and public health come together in this dramatic account...brings the 'unshakeable unease' chillingly close." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA
"diverse voices...representative images...Everywhere, Murphy is attentive to telling detail...Thoroughly documented...the work is both rigorous and inviting." THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE Horn Book
"Nobody does juvenile nonfiction better than Murphy...transparently clear and well-paced prose...grueseome medical details...also plenty of serious history" THE WASHINTON POST BOOK WORLD The Washington Post
"superbly written...represents nonfiction at its best...extremely accessible and readable...captivating...an outstanding annotated bibliography...an excellent choice" VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES (VOYA) VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"Lavishly illustrated . . . Murphy unflinchingly presents the horrors. . . . he has produced another book that can make history come alive. . . ."--NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW The New York Times Book Review
"Murphy's dramatic history book...brings to life the determination and perseverance of a people whose future was uncertain." CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR Christian Science Monitor