The Midwife's Apprentice Author:Karen Cushman Special Recorded Books format for Steady Readers (recorded at a 10-15% slower pace for learning readers). — Description: — Karen Cushman likes to write with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek, and her feisty female characters firmly planted in history. In The Midwife's Apprentice, which earned the 1996 Newbery Medal, this makes a winning combi... more »nation for children and adult readers alike. Like her award-winning book Catherine, Called Birdy, the story takes place in medieval England. This time our protagonist is Alyce, who rises from the dung heap (literally) of homelessness and namelessness to find a station in life--apprentice to the crotchety, snaggletoothed midwife Jane Sharp. On Alyce's first solo outing as a midwife, she fails to deliver. Instead of facing her ignorance, Alyce chooses to run from failure--never a good choice. Disappointingly, Cushman does not offer any hardships or internal wrestling to warrant Alyce's final epiphanies, and one of the book's climactic insights is when Alyce discovers that lo and behold she is actually pretty! Still, Cushman redeems her writing, as always, with historical accuracy, saucy dialogue, fast-paced action, and plucky, original characters that older readers will eagerly devour. (Ages 12 and older) --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.« less
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.