Some reviewers have said that Catherine sounds more like a modern American teenager than a medieval maiden. Well, that's because our idea of what a typical medieval maiden was really like was tainted by the Victorians. Females were not the "damsels in distress" we like to think they were. Women, even teen women, in the middle ages were land-owners, proud of their sexuality, and not afraid to speak their minds with no recrimination.
That being said, Catherine IS a typical medieval maiden. Learned, God-fearing to a point, outspoken, and proud. She doesn't want to marry who her father wants her to marry and wants to make up her own mind.
Her diary entries are hilariously funny and often mention her new ways of swearing ("corpus bones" and "God's thumbs", for example). As an adult, I loved to read her snarky writing about her lout of a father and her ways of sneaking out of work and chores...reminds me of my students!
Very deserving of all the awards it has earned and will turn your idea of what the middle ages were really like upside down.
This is one of the more kid-friendly Newberry books--so many in the past decade or so are the kind of books kids *have* to read in school but may not want to. The drama/suspense of what will happen to Birdy next, plus the weirdness of the historical details, should make it compelling even for kids who might normally not be into historical fiction. Birdy is a fun and strong protagonist. I loved it as an adult.
A well-written historical fiction story for preteen readers. Birdy is a likable main character with wit and guts that will appeal to modern readers. The ending even brought tears of pride to my eyes!
Delightful story of a 14-year-old daughter of a knight's exploits in avoiding marriage. True to the period and hilarious.
There must be something of a child in me to so enjoy this book written in the form of Catherine's diary or maybe it's the wit and talent of the author who makes this young woman sound lke children I know and love. I chuckle again and again as I read about Catherine's efforts to avoid betrothal! Cushman write about this period for young girls so that they can in some way understand how life must have been for them. Cathernine, the girl presented in this novel is a mischievous tomboy in every sense of the word. A worthwhile read indeed.