The Great Trouble

Local Award-winning Author, Deborah Hopkinson,
Announces Book Launch and Book Signing

To Celebrate the Release of The Great Trouble

Portland, OR.—September 10, 2013—Local author Deborah Hopkinson, who recently received two American Library Association awards for her nonfiction book, Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, is celebrating the release of her new middle grade historical fiction title, THE GREAT TROUBLE, A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel, with a blog tour the week of September 10, 2013, followed by an October 17 reading and program at the Barnes & Noble at Bridgeport Village.  The event and program will begin at 4:30 p.m. followed by a book signing at 5:30 p.m.  Hopkinson will also sign copies of her book, Into the Firestorm, which is currently one of the titles featured in the 2013-14 Oregon Battle of the Books.

Released to coincide with the bicentennial of the birth of Dr. John Snow, considered the “father of public health,” The Great Trouble, a selection of the Junior Library Guild, recounts the history-making events around the 1854 London cholera epidemic, when Snow proved that cholera was spread by water from a contaminated pump.  Hopkinson’s fictionalized recounting of the epidemic received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which noted: “Hopkinson’s attention grabbing story…is a delightful combination of race-against-the-clock medical mystery and outwit-the-bad-guys adventure.”

The Great Trouble is being published 159 years after the removal of the handle of the Broad Street pump, which took place on September 8, 1854.  Back then, Dr. John Snow’s fervent hope was that his discoveries would make cholera epidemics a thing of the past,” says Hopkinson. “But cholera is still very much with us, and we have only to look at the epidemic in Haiti to realize that Dr. Snow’s work is relevant today.  The Great Trouble is for young readers, but I hope parents, educators, and librarians will enjoy it as well. And I’m especially excited about the audio version featuring young British actor Matthew Frow as the voice of Eel.

On sale September 10, 2013, Publisher:  Alfred A. Knopf
Part medical mystery, part survival story, part Dickensian adventure, THE GREAT TROUBLE is a gripping historical novel based on the London cholera epidemic of 1854.  The year 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of Dr. John Snow’s birth. A pioneer of public health, Dr. Snow’s work mapping the 1854 cholera outbreak in London was a seminal moment in public health.

The hero of the novel is called Eel, an orphan and a "mudlark,” who spends his days in the filthy River Thames, searching for bits of things to sell. He is being hunted by Fisheye Bill Tyler, and a nastier man has 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 Great Trouble begins. Mr. Griggs, the tailor, is the first to get sick. Soon it is clear that the deadly cholera—the “blue death”—has come 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.

About the Author – Deborah Hopkinson
DEBORAH HOPKINSON has written more than 40 books for young readers. She is the author of the middle-grade novel Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906 and the 2013 Sibert Honor book Titanic: Voices from the Disaster.  Her picture books include Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book; and the ALA Notable Book Apples to Oregon. A frequent presenter at conferences and schools, Hopkinson serves as Vice President for College Advancement for the Pacific Northwest College of Art.  For more information, check, or contact Michele Kophs, Event Coordinator at 360.597.3432.

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