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Will Sparrow's Roadby Karen Cushman
Synopses & Reviews
In his thirteenth year, Will Sparrow, liar and thief, becomes a runaway. On the road, he encounters a series of con artists—a pickpocket, a tooth puller, a pig trainer, a conjurer—and learns that others are more adept than he at lying and thieving. Then he reluctantly joins a traveling troupe of "oddities," including a dwarf and a cat-faced girl, holding himself apart from the "monsters" and resolving to be on guard against further deceptions. At last Will is forced to understand that appearances are misleading and that he has been his own worst deceiver. The rowdy world of market fairs in Elizabethan England is the colorful backdrop for Newbery medalist Cushman's new comic masterpiece.
"Impudent, headstrong, and 'a liar and a thief,' 12-year-old Will Sparrow is also a hero to remember in this rousing story from Newbery Medalist Cushman (The Midwife's Apprentice), set in Elizabethan England. Abandoned by his mother and sold by his alcoholic father to an abusive innkeeper in exchange for unlimited ale, Will soon winds up on the dangerous open road. Will tries to outsmart a stellar cast of thieves, tricksters, and con artists — underestimating all of them and getting taken advantage of repeatedly. He eventually finds a place on the circuit of fairs with Master Tidball and his caravan of 'oddities and prodigies,' which includes 'the world's smartest pig' and a whiskered woman billed as half-cat ('It seemed to Will that Master Tidball made a good living for someone who did nothing but watch others work. Will himself could do that, he thought'). Offering action, humor, and heart in equal doses, Cushman's story is, at its core, about creating and claiming a family of one's own. Readers will be ready to follow Will anywhere from the very first page. Ages 10 — 14. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Newbery medalist Karen Cushman, the adventures of a lovable rogue and vagabond—a perfect picaresque.
Karen Cushman's Newbery Medal-winning classic about a young girl with no family, no home, and no future who becomes the apprentice of a midwife and finally learns to want something from life: "A full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world."
In this Newbery Medal-winning book set in 12th century Korea, Tree-ear, a 13-year-old orphan, lives under a bridge in Chulpo, a potters' village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potters craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated — until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Mins irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself — even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Mins work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.
From the author of Catherine, Called Birdy comes another spellbinding novel set in medieval England. The girl known only as Brat has no family, no home, and no future until she meets Jane the Midwife and becomes her apprentice. As she helps the sharp-tempered Jane deliver babies, Brat--who renames herself Alyce--gains knowledge, confidence, and the courage to want something from life: "A full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world." Medieval village life makes a lively backdrop for the funny, poignant story of how Alyce gets what she wants. A concluding note discusses midwifery past and present. A Newbery Medal book.
About the Author
Karen Cushman's acclaimed historical novels include Catherine, Called Birdy, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Midwife's Apprentice, which received the Newbery Meda
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