This is a charming story about a girl who learns how to choose her own path in life. Beetle, who has no family and cannot remember her name, realizes that she can be Alyce, a confident woman and sensitive person.
This is dealing with a MIDWIFE'S apprentice, so there were just a couple descriptions that I would not have been ready for my 8 year old to read, even though we were studying medieval history in our homeschool. I'm very thankful I read it first. I might recommend this to an older, more mature child but not a little kid. Seems like you sometimes can't trust the Newbery Award to be without questionable materials so I've learned to use discretion and read the books first. We're much more sensitive in our home about sexuality in books, movies, and TV than maybe most people are, I guess. It was still well written and I enjoyed the setting of the middle ages.
This is an educational read about midwives and courage. A poor young girl is found in a dung heap and taken in by a midwife. She does not remember who she is or where she came from. The midwife takes her on as an apprentice. The girl believes that she is no one and has no worth. As this short novel proceeds she learns a great deal about herself and how important it is to try and try again. Do not let failure defeat you. The author discusses midwifery in her notes at the end of the book. Very nice children's read.
Winner of the John Newbery Medal, this YA novel set in 14th century England is about a nameless, homeless girl who becomes the village midwife's helper - and eventually, and without the help of her employer, becomes a midwife on her own, with her own name, the ability to read, and willingness to help other waifs.
I am a grandmother now, but I have been an elementary school librarian and a homeschool mother. I recently enjoyed listening to this book very much. It gave me a feel and understanding of the 14th century England (which I was not familiar with). I also learned about the midwife's craft and the daily life in this time period, such as needing to take grain to the mill to be ground into flour, and the need to gather your own herbs. I really came to understand the feelings of the young girl who was homeless and hungry and with no parent. This would be a great addition to a homeschool unit on the Middle Ages.