Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Great Touble

Eel was earning his living as a mudlark gathering scraps and debris from the filthy water of the Thames in 1854.  A change of fortune got him room, board, fresh water, and enough money to support himself.  This is a vast improvement over his previous life.

Everything changes one August day when a rival accuses him of stealing jeopardizing his job.  When he tries to get support from one of his other employers, he makes a horrifying discovery.  The blue death has arrived, and it quickly spreads.  Eel knows there is only one person Eel can think of to help.

Eel has been feeding animals and cleaning cages for Dr. Snow who uses the animals in his medical inquiries.  Dr. Snow is more interested than Eel thought, but not for the reasons Eel had hoped for.  Most people believe the blue death, or Cholera, is caused by the foul smelling air coming off the polluted Thames, but Dr. Snow believes there is a more direct cause, and he intends to prove it.

With Eel's help, Dr. Snow races to discover the true cause of the Cholera outbreak and stop the spread before more people die.

I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.  It's a true medical mystery based on the real cholera outbreak of 1854.  Be sure to read the author's note at the end to find out more about cholera and its spread as well as the real people Deborah Hopkinson used as characters in the book.  Highly recommended!

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