Cover image for An American plague [the true and terrifying story of the yellow fever epidemic of 1793]
An American plague [the true and terrifying story of the yellow fever epidemic of 1793]
Murphy, Jim, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Prince Frederick, MD : Recorded Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
4 audio discs (4 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
It's 1793, and there's an invisible killer roaming the streets of Philadelphia. The city's residents are fleeing in fear. This killer has a name--yellow fever--but everything else about it is a mystery. Its cause is unknown and there is no cure. This [book] traces the devastating course of the epidemic. [The book] offers a ... glimpse into the conditions in American cities at the time of our nation's birth while drawing thought-provoking parallels to modern-day epidemics.
General Note:

Subtitle from container.
Reading Level:
Ages 9 and up.
Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA644.Y4 M875 2004 Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



An American Plague

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-A yellow fever epidemic struck Philadelphia in 1793, killing thousands of people and sending thousands more fleeing into the countryside. Jim Murphy's Newbery Honor book about this sad chapter in Philadelphia's history is brought to life by narrator Pat Bottino (Clarion, 2003). As word of the plague spread, surrounding states posted armed militia to prevent residents of Philadelphia from fleeing to their towns and cities. Some of the details are amusing, such as Murphy's description of how men, women, and even children walked around with cigars in their mouth, in the belief that the smell of tobacco would ward off the disease. One doctor recommended that residents coat their floors with two inches of dirt, replacing it with fresh dirt each day. The horrible symptoms of the disease, though, were no laughing matter. Although the plague eventually faded, Murphy points out that, even today, there is no cure for yellow fever, which medical scientists eventually learned was a mosquito-borne disease. Despite its sobering subject, this audiobook is sure to be a hit with students interested in medical science or U.S. history. More casual students of the subject, though, may prefer the novel Fever 1793 (S & S, 2000) by Laurie Halse Anderson.-David Bilmes, Schaghticoke Middle School, New Milford, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.