The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, And a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson
Reviewed by Anne Strang, Children's Librarian
So what is the “Blue Death? “ I had never heard this term until I read this intriguing historical fiction book!
The story begins in London in 1854, a very different London than the modern city of today. Eel, a 13-year-old orphan boy, is wading through the noxious-smelling mud of the Thames River, looking for coal or bits of metal to sell. At this young age, he is not only on his own but also responsible for the care of his younger brother. He works a variety of jobs from dawn to dusk, but his busy routine is interrupted when one of his employers, Mr. Griggs, dies from cholera, the blue death, so named for the bluish color of the victim’s skin.
Eel gets caught up in the panic caused by this little-understood disease, and his life changes forever as he does his best to protect the little Broad Street neighborhood of London that he loves.
Find this book in the library catalog.
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