Clarion Books, 1995
More than 1,112,000 copies available
From the author of Catherine, Called Birdy comes another spellbinding novel set in medieval England. The girl known only as Brat has no family, no home, and no future until she meets Jane the Midwife and becomes her apprentice. As she helps the sharp-tempered Jane deliver babies, Brat—who renames herself Alyce—gains knowledge, confidence, and the courage to want something from life: "A full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world." Medieval village life makes a lively backdrop for the funny, poignant story of how Alyce gets what she wants. A concluding note discusses midwifery past and present.
Please purchase this book at your local independent bookseller.
Podcast: an introduction to The Midwife's Apprentice, as well a short excerpt from the book, on TeachingBooks.net.
My Bookshelves: Medieval Times: Here are some of the books I used for research while writing about Brat. I hope you enjoy reading them or using them for your own writing.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
"With simplicity, wit, and humor, Cushman presents another tale of medieval England. Here readers follow the satisfying, literal and figurative journey of a homeless, nameless child called Brat. ... Earthy humor, the foibles of humans both high and low, and a fascinating mix of superstition and genuinely helpful herbal remedies attached to childbirth make this a truly delightful introduction to a world seldom seen in children's literature."
"This novel is about a strong, young woman in medieval England who finds her own way home. ... Kids will be caught up in this short, fast-paced narrative about a hero who discovers that she's not ugly or stupid or alone."