cover very small for web“A gripping account of the Spanish Influenza pandemic and how it swept through Toronto in 1918, leaving a swathe of death and loss in its wake… This book captures a sense of the chaos and panic that this episode in history created, and realistically recreates the conditions of daily life for both Meredith and Maggie… Meredith is a very likable character and believable as a young girl with a sense of duty.” – 2013 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards, Sep 2013

“Pat Bourke has crafted a fantastically detailed novel that would satisfy any young reader’s desire to find out about the past.” – Canadian Children’s Book News, Winter 2013

“Yesterday’s Dead is an eye-opening portrayal of an historical event that left many children in the role of caregiver, or worse, orphans, just as World War I was finally ending.” – Amy’s Marathon of Books, Jun 2014

“Pat Bourke’s debut YA historical novel Yesterday’s Dead plunges us into the desperate straits of families caught up in the epidemic. Bourke also explores the everyday struggles of working girls like Meredith. Younger teenage girls should particularly enjoy Meredith’s story and her ultimate triumph over adversity that most of us can only imagine.” – Historical Novel Review, November 2012

” … the strong sense of place and time and the vivid peril of the deadly disease keep the plot rushing believably forward. Meredith’s very human fluctuations between despair and determination in the face of tragedy add considerably to the authenticity of her character.
A gripping depiction of a tragic epidemic and the sometimes heroic responses of those affected.” – Kirkus Reviews, Mar 2012

Bourke ultimately brings home the vital message: in disease, all social classes are rendered equal.” – Booklist Online, Apr 2012

“The story’s pacing is pitch-perfect, and Bourke advances the plot at just the right clip. She uses dialogue to great advantage, both as a tool for defining her characters and for introducing different opinions on the epidemic. … Yesterday’s Dead is a well-written story with an engaging protagonist. Both witness and survivor, Meredith pulls readers through the crisis and touches the lives of everyone around her. Bourke does a great job of calling attention to a brief but important moment in history.” – Quill & Quire, Jan 2012

“Meredith is a likable character – young, intelligent, outspoken, caught in a negative situation, but not too rebellious. She suits both the time period and the readers’ expectations of her behavior. Pat Bourke makes real to younger readers the terror of being struck with an epidemic little understood by the public at the time.” – Susie Bookworm, Mar 2012

“Enjoy the book….I certainly did and benefited from the history lesson. I definitely enjoyed the interaction among the characters. This would make a great discussion in a classroom in terms of how today’s youth would feel about the way the characters reacted to each other and how illnesses are treated differently today.” – Silver’s Reviews, Mar 2012

“Bourke quietly conveys the impact of the Great War and the Spanish flu on our then fledgling country of just over 8 million people. Many of our ancestors were scarred by these tragedies. Yet the historical elements never overwhelm the human story of Meredith and her friends. Realistic dialogue, skilled pacing and evocative detail bring them to life and make the reader sorry when the novel ends. Yesterday’s Dead truly deserves praise and prizes.” – CM Magazine, Jan 2012