Reading Level: Grades 7-9
16-year-old Prudence Galewski knows she should be grateful to be a scholarship student at Mrs. Browning's School for Girls but she finds her lessons in typing, literature and deportment oppressive. Prudence doesn't want to be a wife and mother or a secretary at a bank. She wants to know what causes diseases and how to prevent them even though girls in the early 19th century were not supposed to be interested in such unladylike things.
Prudence gets her chance when she is hired as Mr. Soper's assistant at the New York Department of Health and Sanitation. But soon Prudence has reason to doubt the wisdom of her career path when an investigation of a string of typhoid cases leads her and Mr. Soper down a path of controversy and danger.
Other historical stories of strong young women include: