Life is hard for 12-year-old Lucas. First Uncle Asa dies of consumption, then Lizy and Pa. Now Mama is sick. And Lucas is the only one left to take care of her and their Connecticut farm. By the time his neighbor tells him of a strange, new cure, it is too late - Mama has just died.Reeling with sorrow, Lucas wanders until he sees a "help wanted" sign for a doctor's apprentice. He feels better while he is helping to pull teeth, visit the sick, and bury the dead. When he discovers townspeople are dying of consumption here, too, he wants to help them. Should he try the macabre cure?
Novelist for young readers Cynthia DeFelice bases her gripping tale on actual practices of the mid-1800s to cure victims of the disease we now call tuberculosis. Narrator John McDonough will hold listeners spellbound as Lucas heroically attacks a mystery that even the adults can't solve.
"DeFelice skillfully gives readers enough historical information to see the reasoning behind the macabre practice and creates in Lucas a flesh and blood boy going through a most difficult time. Hand this title to students who have been assigned historical fiction and consider olden times to be boring." (Booklist)
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