Lyrical yet unsentimental, The Midwife's Apprentice won the coveted 1996 Newbery Medal. Filled with striking characters, it paints unforgettable pictures of village life in the Middle Ages, the midwife's craft, and a very remarkable girl's growing independence and pride.
"A good morality tale for young people"
In 1290, her 14th year, Catherine begins a diary that quickly fills with the irrepressible joys and frustrations of her days. Always looking for ways to avoid drudging hours of embroidery, Birdy fills her time with pranks, celebrations of feast days, and local gossip. Wriggling out of her father's plans to find a prosperous husband for her proves to be Birdy's greatest challenge.
"Corpus bones! What a great heroine."
Karen Cushman's Newbery Honor-winning book tells the story of a medieval girl who works to avoid the marriage her father has arranged for her during her 14th year. Contained in this program is Catherine's diary - Catherine, called Little Bird or Birdy, daughter of Rollo and the lady Aislinn, sister to Thomas, Edward, and the abominable Robert. Against a vivid backdrop of everyday life on a medieval English manor, Catherine's earthy, spirited account of her fourteenth year is a richly entertaining story with an utterly unforgettable heroine.
It's time for Grayling to be a hero. Her mother, a "wise woman" - a sort of witch - has been turned into a tree by evil forces. Tangles and toadstools! Lacking confidence after years of being called "Feeble Wits" by her mother, Grayling heads off dubiously into the wilds in search of help, where she finds a weather witch, an aromatic enchantress, a cheese soothsayer, a slyly foolish apprentice, and a shape-shifting mouse named Pook!
In the summer of 1849, Lucy Whipple's mother packs up her household and her two young children, and leaves their home in Massachusetts for the gold fields of California. Moving is the last thing the outspoken 12-year-old, Lucy, wants to do. Reaching California, the Whipples set up a crude boardinghouse, and Lucy is put to work washing, cleaning, and baking pies in the rough mining town of Lucky Diggins.
"A great Gold Rush read"
Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann, newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London,dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in—not that getting around is ever easy for someone who walks with the help of two sticks.
Orphaned Matilda is not at all pleased when she arrives at Blood and Bone Alley to become an assistant to Red Peg the Bonesetter. She is a religious, well-educated girl who can't picture herself doing dirty chores or helping sickly patients. Each day is very different from her former quiet life. Matilda's not used to being around so many people who are coming and going, laughing and eating. Not one of them seems interested in prayer or study.
Will Sparrow, liar and thief, is running away—from the father who sold him for beer, from the innkeeper who threatened to sell him as a chimney sweep, from his whole sorry life. Barefoot and penniless, without family, friends, or boots, Will is determined to avoid capture and, of course, to find something to eat. Some of the travelers he meets on the road have a kind word for him and a promise of better things to come, such as coins and juicy beef ribs. Eager to go along, Will repeatedly finds himself tricked by older and wiser tricksters....
In 1881, 12-year-old Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski wishes she didn't have to board the orphan train in Chicago. But she has no home, no family, and no choice. Rodzina doesn't believe the orphans are on their way out West to be adopted by good families. She's sure they will become slaves to strangers. Anyway, who would ever adopt a large, tough, stubborn girl of Polish origin? As the train heads west, all Rodzina has is a small suitcase and her family memories from the past.
Francine lives down the street from a Hollywood film studio, adores screen dreamboat Montgomery Clift, and sometimes sees her home life as a scene from a movie: Dinner at the Greens. She wishes she really were a movie star, brave and glamorous and always ready to say the right thing. In reality, she's a "pink and freckled" 13-year-old, and she doesn't always speak up because she's afraid she'll get in trouble. She's comfortable following her father's advice: "Don't get involved".