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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Midwife's Apprentice - Karen Cushman

The girl was known as Beetle, because she often used the dung piles in villages to keep herself warm at night, until she happened into the village where Jane Sharp was the midwife. Jane wasn’t a particularly kind woman, but she was in need of help, and she took Beetle on, so long as she would work for food and board.

Though she started out as a lowly apprentice, she slowly learned the midwife’s trade, and the villagers began to seek her out if the midwife wasn’t available. But one mistake cast all her learning into doubt, and Beetle had to choose to keep this wonderful new life, or leave to find something else.

This is a charming little book, aimed probably for the tween crowd. It’s well researched (the author’s notes at the end of the book are worth a read), and gives a good flavor of medieval village life. Beetle is a wonderful heroine, and it’s a joy to read her story.

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