The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel
2013 Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN – The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel
Genre – Historical Fiction
Age – Middle School
Eel is riddled with more issues than any young boy should have. He is an orphan, and his awful step father is trying to find him amd his brother in order to make them beg on the streets for him. He must constantly watch his back and work to hide and protect his younger brother. He works multiple jobs just to keep them afloat. During all of this “The Blue Death” breaks out in his neighborhood in London, and many people he knows become sick or worse. Everyone is convinced that this plague is spread by poisonous air, but Dr. Snow thinks differently. Dr. Snow regularly employs Eel to take care of his plethora of animals, but now he has a new task for him. Together they attempt to gather evidence that the sickness may be spread by a different method. Hopefully they prove it before many more people perish!
I heart plague historical fiction! This may be a bit morbid of me, but I just find the social and scientific aspects of these situations to be fascinating. The characters are great. Eel is a very responsible young kid, who takes care of his responsibilities admirably. Despite all of the hardships he must juggle, he still has the time and energy to be compassionate towards others in more dire situations. Although this book is a work of fiction, it does an incredible job of sticking closely to the truth of the time. At the end of the book there is additional information about the timeline as well as specific people involved in the story. I really think that Hopkinson did a wonderful job of depicting the hysteria, and various other reactions to Cholera.