Synopses & Reviews
Cecilys father has ruined her life. Hes moving them to occupied Wales, where the
king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least
Cecily will finally be the lady of the house.
Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there
herself, until the English destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now she must
wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl.
While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners,
Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And outside the city walls, tensions are rising
ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.
"This unusual book provides an insiders look at the life of Birdy, 14, the daughter of a minor English nobleman. The year is 1290 and the vehicle for storytelling is the girls witty, irreverent diary. . . . Superb historical fiction." —School Library Journal, Starred
"The period has rarely been presented for young people with such authenticity; the exotic details will intrigue readers while they relate more closely to Birdys yen for independence and her sensibilities toward the downtrodden. Her tenacity and ebullient naiveté are extraordinary; at once comic and thought-provoking, this first novel is a delight." —Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
"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. . . . 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 childrens literature."
School Library Journal, Starred
"This novel is about a strong, young woman in medieval England who finds her own way home. . . . Kids will be caught up in this short, fast-paced narrative about a hero who discovers that shes not ugly or stupid or alone."
Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"Cushmans heroine is a delightful character, and the historical setting is authentically portrayed. Lucys story, as the author points out in her end notes, is the story of many pioneer women who exhibited great strength and courage as they helped to settle the West."
School Library Journal, Starred
"The recent Newbery medalist plunks down two more strong-minded women, this time in an 1849 mining campa milieu far removed from the Middle Ages of her first novels, but not all that different when it comes to living standards. . . . With a story that is less a period piece than a timeless and richly comic coming-of-age story, Cushman remains on a roll."
Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
A Kirkus Best Teen Book of 2012 "I am gobsmacked by this astonishing story. This is a remarkable achievement, full of truth and compassion."—Karen Cushman, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Midwife's Apprentice * "Brilliant: a vision of history before the victors wrote it."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "[An] unusually honest portrait of the effects of power...[Coats] offers us a potent historical novel."--Horn Book, starred review * "This debut novel reverberates with detail, drama, and compassion."--SLJ, starred review "Coats's debut shifts gracefully between the two girls' perspectives, finding empathy for both."--Publishers Weekly "A rich historical novel that challenges readers to think about universal ideas, such as true justice."—VOYA "[An] intriguing first novel...Coats' considerable research provides details of everyday life that ground this dark and sometimes brutal historical novel."--Booklist
Catherine, a spirited and inquisitive young woman of good family, narrates in diary form the story of her fourteenth year--the year 1290. A Newbery Honor Book.
Catherine one day hopes to become a painter, a Crusader, a peddler, a minstrel, a
monk, a wart charmer . . . anything besides being sold like a cheese to the highest
bidder. Winner of the Newbery Honor, this richly entertaining story with an utterly
unforgettable heroine now features a new introduction by Linda Sue Park.
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."
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.
Newbery Honor and Medal winner Karen Cushman's classic novel of the American Gold Rush follows the distraught twelve-year-old Lucy as her family moves from Massachusetts to a small California mining town.
In 1849 a twelve-year-old girl who calls herself Lucy is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a small California mining town. There Lucy helps run a boarding house and looks for comfort in books while trying to find a way to return "home."
This powerful historical fiction debut, set in medieval Wales, follows Cecily whose family is lured by cheap land and the duty of all Englishman to help keep down the "vicious" Welshmen, and Gwenhwyfar, a Welsh girl who must wait hand and foot on her new English mistress. As issues of prejudice, heritage, and occupation come to a head, both girls have to find a way to survive.
About the Author
Karen Cushman was born in Chicago, Illinois and lives now on Vashon Island west of Seattle, Washington. She received an M.A. in human behavior and one in museum studies. Ms. Cushman has had a lifelong interest in history. She says, "I grew tired of hearing about kings, princes, generals, presidents. I wanted to know what ordinary life was like for ordinary young people in other times." Research into medieval English history and culture led to the writing of her first two novels, the Newbery Honor book CATHERINE, CALLED BIRDY and the Newbery Medal-winner THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE. She is also the author of MATILDA BONE, THE BALLAD OF LUCY WHIPPLE, RODZINA, and most recently ALCHEMY AND MEGGY SWANN..