The Midwife's Apprentice Author:Karen Cushman, Jenny Sterlin (narrator) 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 indepedence and pride. — Brat has no name, no home, and no shelter against the 14th century English... more » winter except the foul warmth of a dung heap. So when Jane, the Midwife wakes her with a kick and takes the half-starved creature to her cottage, a curious relationship begins.
Jane teaches Brat to gather herbs and make the poultices used to ease the pain of childbirth for the village women. The Skinny young girl quickly learns to obey the sharp-tongued midwife, and secretly watches Jane practice her art whenever she can. But Jane is also teaching Brat unspoken lessons that will take longer--maybe a lifetime--to master.
"Supberb historical fiction" - School Library Journal
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.