“A delightful combination of race-against-the-clock medical mystery and outwit-the-bad-guys adventure.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred
Eel has troubles of his own: As an orphan and a “mudlark,” he spends his days in the filthy River Thames, searching for bits of things to sell. He’s being hunted by Fisheye Bill Tyler, and a nastier man never walked the streets of London. And he’s got a secret that costs him four precious shillings a week to keep safe. But even for Eel, things aren’t so bad until that fateful August day in 1854—the day the deadly cholera (“blue death”) comes to Broad Street.
Everyone believes that cholera is spread through poisonous air. But one man, Dr. John Snow, has a different theory. As the epidemic surges, it’s up to Eel and his best friend, Florrie, to gather evidence to prove Dr. Snow’s theory—before the entire neighborhood is wiped out.
“Hopkinson illuminates a pivotal chapter in the history of public health. . . . Accessible . . . and entertaining.” —School Library Journal, Starred
“For [readers] who love suspense, drama, and mystery.” —TIME for Kids
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||10 - 12 Years|
About the Author
DEBORAH HOPKINSON has written more than 40 books for young readers. Her picture books include Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book; Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book and a Junior Library Guild Selection; A Boy Called Dickens; and the ALA Notable Book Apples to Oregon. She is also the author of the middle-grade novel Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906. Visit her at DeborahHopkinson.com.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from "The Great Trouble"
Copyright © 2015 Deborah Hopkinson.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I watched this a couple years ago
Hey, look, you came! Go to YouTube and watch the video called: Don't hug me, l'm scared. Report back here with your comments about it PS. I made it. PPS. I' ll keep posted and respond to your feedback. PPPS. This book is great. THANKS!
I loge this book
London 1854 is not a kind city for an orphan. Eel lives in a world where children live day to day in the filthy streets, sleeping under bridges, and begging, working, stealing for food. Eel has a steady job as an errand runner and a second job taking care of animals for Dr. John Snow a prominent London physician. Eel has it a bit better than other twelve-year-olds, but unfortunately he loses the errand job due to a thief and liar who has a grudge against him and the job with Dr. Snow does not pay him as much as he needs to make live. Back on the streets, with a bad man from his past looking for him would seem like the worst thing that could happen. But Eel has a secret. This secret is costing him money each week that he does not have due to the boy that caused him to lose his job. His desperate attempt to make money forces him to make decisions that would terrify grown men, let alone a young boy. With all of this going on, Eel goes to see a friend of his only to find the father of the family dying from “the blue death” which was cholera. The common theory is that this disease is spread by poisonous air, but Dr. Snow has a different theory. When he enlists Eel to help him investigate and support his theory. Working against the clock amid the death knocking at almost every door in the neighborhood, Eel faces friends and foes to help the Doctor. This just might be the best thing that has ever happened to him. This book was written for children 10 years and up. I am way past 10 and was thoroughly engrossed in this story. There was history, mystery, science, intrigue and relationships to wonder and worry about. The story is based on real people and the actual cholera epidemic in London. I loved the way Hopkinson wrapped the true events in a great story that adds depth to the story to keep the reader’s interest high. As a bonus, at the end of the novel, she has biographical information on each of the characters that were based upon real people, including pictures of them. She also tells the reader about the books available for more information on the Broad Street cholera epidemic and the efforts of Dr. John Snow to stop the Blue Death from spreading. I would recommend this book to adults and children that are interested in history and mysteries. It would be a great read-along for a classroom or with your child if it seems too long for him or her to read alone. The story will keep their interest. If you don’t have any children to share this great book with, read it yourself. You won’t be disappointed. Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review
Eel is just trying to make a better life for his brother but Hugzie took that opportunity away from him. Now Eel has the world on his shoulders. I picture this mudlark running through the streets, constantly watching his back, earning whatever money he can, with fear running through his veins. He’s hiding from Fisheye Bell and the many gangs which troll along the Thames River as Eel doesn’t want to be a part of their stealing and illegal activities. Eel needs to make the money to pay Mrs. Miggle and it would be nice to make a few extra coins to get something to eat for himself. With the Blue Death on the streets, Eel knows firsthand what Great Trouble is flowing throughout the village, but he wants to stop it from affecting the ones he loves. This novel shows how the epidemic of cholera affected individuals and how doctors thought they knew how to contain it.