The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson

  He won’t think to look for me on Broad Street, or anywhere else near the Golden Square park in Soho, I tried to convince myself as I headed north.  Fisheye didn’t frequent that neighborhood much.  

Eel is an orphan boy living in London in 1854, the time of the Broad Stree cholera epidemic.  He survives by digging in the filthy mud of the Thames River, then selling bits of coal or anything else he can find!  He’s hiding from someone—and he has a secret!

Real characters are included in this exciting, scientific mystery!  Dr. John Snow, a doctor who did research on anesthesia and later cholera, hires Eel to help him with his project.  Eel shows a talent for thinking logically, and he is able to provide Dr. Snow with excellent information.

The horrible living conditions of the poor of London reminded me of some of Dickens’ writings.  Descriptions are vivid and realistic!  Cholera wasn’t a pretty sight!  Kids who like non-fiction would appreciate this book, too.

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