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5.0 1
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This well-researched novel is fascinating from start to finish. Ms. Hopkinson does an excellent job of bringing the setting of London circa 1854 to vivid life. From mudlarking on the Thames to the bustling community of Broad Street, London's poverty, filth, class system, and colorful cast of characters are brilliantly portrayed. Eel makes for an interesting narrator. Equal parts consummate survivor and compassionate do-gooder, Eel's adventures allow the reader to experience the various sides of London, a cholera epidemic up close, and the battle between superstition and science that was waged over this particular cholera epidemic. The narrative is smooth and fast-paced, the historical facts are solid and presented in such a compelling storyline that the reader is almost unaware of receiving a thorough history lesson, and the backmatter in the book gives additional historical detail, maps, and places to go for more information.

I highly recommend this to teachers, librarians, and home schoolers. I also highly recommend it to fans of historical coming of age stories or readers who enjoy the kind of novel that comes to vivid life inside their minds.
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