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Mattie lives in a coffeehouse with her mom and grandpa in Philadelphia in 1793. Yellow fever sweeps through the city, killing many. Mattie and her mom get sick and are separated. Mattie’s grandpa dies of a heart attack, and Mattie must assume responsibility for the coffeehouse and for her mother.

The setting is a hot summer in Philadelphia. I read this book on one of the hottest days of the summer, and it almost felt like I was in the book. The book gives a very realistic portrayal about the discomforts of life in 1793, and it was interesting and horrifying to read about this episode in history that I hadn’t learned about before.