Friday, September 26, 2014

The Great Trouble gets 4.5 Stars

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, The Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson is a fabulous historical fiction juvenile chapter book that received 4.5 out of 5 stars in my book review.  Teachers will love to read aloud this book and use it to discuss epidemics, the Scientific Method, of historical fictions in general.  Boys will especially love this book, but girls will love it too.  This book is great for upper elementary (4th grade and up), middle school, and even high school students (especially those needing hi/lo books). Alohamora Open a Book

It is Banned Book Week; the past two days I've shared two Banned Book Lists, Kid Books that were Banned and Adult and YA/Teen books that were Banned.  There are some really great books on both of those lists; go check them out. 

Today, I wanted to share a book review with you. The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, The Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson is a juvenile/children's historical fiction book that I just finished reading.  

To my knowledge this book, which has only been out for a year, has never been Challenged let alone Banned.  I really just wanted to share this great book with you.

However, I could stretch my "Banned" definition and say there was a "banning" of one kind in this book.  Once you read it you will know what I am talking about. ;)

I give The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson 4.5 out of 5 stars.  This juvenile mystery/historical fiction (I'd say historical fiction more than mystery but my local library cataloged it as a mystery) book is a fast read, great for boys and girls alike, and an overall interesting read.  

Seriously, this is a great book, and the only reason it lost half of a star is b/c I thought the character development, especially of Eel, could've been done just a tiny bit better.  At times I found myself wanting to know more about Eel.

However, the facts and the fictional story in general were really really great, and I highly suggest this book.    

The Great Trouble was thoroughly enjoyable for me to read as an adult.  I loved learned more about The Blue Death aka Cholera, and the epidemic in 1854 in London.  I loved learning something while reading a great story.  I love knowing boys will find this story interesting, even the most reluctant readers will enjoy it.  I loved how the story kept a good pace and didn't leave you dragging along.  

This is a juvenile book, and it is perfect for upper elementary and middle school students even into high school (especially for those students that need a hi/lo book aka high interest but low reading level).  However, as an adult I felt some things were explained or set up a bit too much aka the foreshadowing was a bit obvious.  However, for a child and the intended audience the story was written perfectly.  

I'm a big fan of great historical fictions, and The Great Trouble is a great historical fiction that the young, old, boys, and girls will enjoy.  It's captivating and interesting; it would also make a great read aloud especially if a teacher is working on an historical fiction unit or one that wants to talk about solving scientific mysteries or epidemics like cholera.  Though, if you have a reluctant reader who has to read an historical fiction book then I would strongly consider giving them this book to read (or read with them). Everyone will enjoy The Great Trouble.  

Amazon had the following book review
*You can also purchase this book (hardback, paperback, or Kindle) from the link provided.  

"Equal parts medical mystery, historical novel, and survival story about the 1854 London cholera outbreak, this introduces Eel, a boy trying to make ends meet on Broad Street. When he visits one of his regular employers, he learns the man has fallen ill. Eel enlists the help of Dr. Snow, and together they work to solve the mystery of what exactly is causing the spread of cholera and how they can prevent it. Steeped in rich fact and detailed explanations about laboratory research, Hopkinson’s book uses a fictional story to teach readers about science, medicine, and history—and works in a few real-life characters, too. Eel serves as a peek into the lower class of London society and offers readers a way to observe—and, hopefully, ask questions about—the scientific method. An author’s note provides readers with a look at the real story behind the novel, making this a great choice for introducing readers to science and history."

Happy Historical Fiction, science, mystery, epidemic reading!  

As always, what did you think of the book?  I love to hear your thoughts and opinions! 

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