The mysterious Louisa May Alcott, Yellow Fever: and poking fun at histories villains.
A young reader’s book that will appeal to all ages, Fever 1793, recounts the Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia. The sickness, was carried by mosquitoes and gripped the city yearly when warm temperature and standing, putrid water in ponds and swampy areas near the Delaware River provided ideal conditions for mosquitoes to thrive. The year 1793 was a particularly bad one for Yellow Fever and Halse Anderson’s novel brings the panic and desperation of the terrified public to life through the eyes of her 14-year-old protagonist, Polly. Well researched with some creative liberties as to the timing of historic events, this book is a page-turner at any time—but particular now when we find ourselves looking to the past as a roadmap to the difficulties of the present and hopes for the future.
Fever 1793Ramin Ganeshram
Listening to podcasts are a wonderful way to pass the time during this public health emergency, even better is to continue to learn history while getting in a good laugh! Behind the Bastards is hosted by Robert Evans, conflict journalist and author, along with a rotating cast of comedic guests discussing the things you don’t know about the very worst people in history. Described as diving “in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives” the series is well researched, witty and side-splittingly hilarious. Evans and his guests educate and entertain while challenging viewers to discuss these figures and their connections today. While great content, the show is geared for adults, parents should listen before allowing teens (15-16+) to tune in. Click here for access to this free podcast.
Behind the BastardsNicole Carpenter
Although written for ages 12 to 17, The Revelation of Louisa May by Westport’s own Michaela MacColl, brings the Concord, Massachusetts girlhood of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott to life. Part thriller, part romance, Louisa finds herself in charge of the family home at just 15 years of age as her mother goes away for the summer to earn money—something her transcendentalist philosopher father does not deign to do. Even as Louisa struggles to hold household management together, she must also step into her mother’s place as a conductor on the Underground Railroad—all while grappling with her budding romantic feelings for an old family friend. MacColl’s precise research into Alcott’s family, friends and town is apparent and charmingly told. Those who loved Little Women will delight in MacColl’s skillfully drawn parallels between the Alcott home and the March house of Little Women.