Deborah Hopkinson

Award Winning Author of Fiction & Nonfiction for Children & Teens

The Great Trouble

A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel

The Great Trouble

What is this book about?

Eel has trou­bles of his own: As an orphan and a “mud­lark,” he spends his days in the filthy Riv­er Thames, search­ing for bits of things to sell. He’s being hunt­ed by Fish­eye Bill Tyler, and a nas­ti­er man nev­er walked the streets of Lon­don. And he’s got a secret that costs him four pre­cious shillings a week to keep safe. But even for Eel, things aren’t so bad until that fate­ful August day in 1854 — the day the dead­ly cholera epi­dem­ic (“blue death”) comes to Broad Street.
Every­one believes that cholera is spread through poi­so­nous air. But one man, Dr. John Snow, has a dif­fer­ent the­o­ry. As the epi­dem­ic surges, it’s up to Eel and his best friend, Flor­rie, to gath­er evi­dence to prove Dr. Snow’s the­o­ry — before the entire neigh­bor­hood is wiped out.


 “Hop­kin­son illu­mi­nates a piv­otal chap­ter in the his­to­ry of pub­lic health. … Acces­si­ble … and enter­tain­ing.” (School Library Jour­nal, starred review)

 “A delight­ful com­bi­na­tion of race-against-the-clock med­ical mys­tery and out­wit-the-bad-guys adven­ture.” (Pub­lish­ers Week­ly, starred review)

“For [read­ers] who love sus­pense, dra­ma, and mys­tery.” (TIME for Kids)

The Great Trouble

author, Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son
Knopf Books for Young Read­ers
ages 10 and up, 2013
ISBN 978–0375848186

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