by Laurie Halse Anderson
Character Role Analysis
Matilda Cook is the character in the novel we root for, and we better do some heavy duty rooting because she's up against quite a bit. Matilda comes face-to-face with a raging yellow fever epidemic that's picking off her friends and family one by one. Over the course of the novel, we see her mature from a slightly bratty teenager to a responsible, self-sufficient adult with cares and concerns about those around her.