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The Midwife's Apprentice Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Cushman, Karen

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ISBN: 0547722176     ISBN-13: 9780547722177
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: June 2012
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Annotation: In a small village in medieval England, a young homeless girl acquires a home and a new career when she becomes the apprentice to a sharp-tempered midwife.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Middle Ages; Fiction.
Midwives; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical | Medieval
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Self-esteem & Self-reliance
- Juvenile Fiction | Girls & Women
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2012023305
Lexile Measure: 1240
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.00" W x 0.50" (0.30 lbs) 122 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 11553
Reading Level: 6.0   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 3.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1995 February #4)
Having focused on a well-born young heroine in her Newbery Honor debut novel, Catherine, Called Birdy, Cushman returns to a similar medieval English setting, this time to imagine how the other half lived. The strengths of this new, relatively brief novel match those of its predecessor: Cushman has an almost unrivaled ability to build atmosphere, and her evocation of a medieval village, if not scholarly in its authenticity, is supremely colorful and pungent. The protagonist here first appears asleep in a heap of dung; the ``rotting and moiling'' of the refuse give forth heat enough to compensate for the stench. Homeless and nameless, she can remember no time when she did not wander from village to village. She is rescued from the dung heap by a sharp-tongued local midwife, who feeds her in exchange for work. Gradually the girl forges an identity for herself and learns some timeless truths. Some of the characterizations lack consistency (particularly that of the midwife), the plot depends on a few too many conveniences and the development of the themes seems hurried?but no matter. The force of the ambience produces more than enough momentum to propel the reader from start to finish in a single happy sitting. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1995 May)
Gr 6-9?With simplicity, wit, and humor, Cushman presents another tale of medieval England. Here readers follow the satisfying, literal and figurative journey of a homeless, nameless child called Brat, who might be 12 or 13?no one really knows. She wandered about in her early years, seeking food and any kind of refuge and, like many outsiders, gained a certain kind of wisdom about people and their ways. Still, life held little purpose beyond survival?until she meets the sharp-nosed, irritable local midwife, which is where this story begins. Jane takes her in, re-names her Beetle, and thinks of her as free labor and no competition. Always practical but initially timid, the girl expands in courage and self-awareness, acquiring a cat as a companion, naming herself Alyce, and gaining experience in the ways of midwifery. From the breathless delight of helping a boy to deliver twin calves, to the despair of failure during a difficult birth, to the triumph of a successful delivery, Alyce struggles to understand how she can allow herself to fail and yet have the determination to reach for her own place in the world. Alyce wins. Characters are sketched briefly but with telling, witty detail, and the very scents and sounds of the land and people's occupations fill each page as Alyce comes of age and heart. Earthy humor, the foibles of humans both high and low, and a fascinating mix of superstition and genuinely helpful herbal remedies attached to childbirth make this a truly delightful introduction to a world seldom seen in children's literature.?Sara Miller, Rye County Day School, NY
 
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