Newbery: Good Masters, Sweet Ladies!

A realistic look at medieval life, as seen through the eyes of young people of the time. | A book review from Newbery and Beyond
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Maidens, monks, and millers’ sons — in these pages, readers will meet them all. There’s Hugo, the lord’s nephew, forced to prove his manhood by hunting a wild boar; sharp-tongued Nelly, who supports her family by selling live eels; and the peasant’s daughter, Mogg, who gets a clever lesson in how to save a cow from a greedy landlord. There’s also mud-slinging Barbary (and her noble victim); Jack, the compassionate half-wit; Alice, the singing shepherdess; and many more. With a deep appreciation for the period and a grand affection for both characters and audience, Laura Amy Schlitz creates twenty-two riveting portraits and linguistic gems equally suited to silent reading or performance. Illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings by Robert Byrd — inspired by the Munich-Nuremberg manuscript, an illuminated poem from thirteenth-century Germany — this witty, historically accurate, and utterly human collection forms an exquisite bridge to the people and places of medieval England. (Summary via Amazon)

This book was so neat!  Written for classroom use, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! consists of vignettes of young people in a medieval village.  Many of them are poems, and a few are written for two people.  All are made to be read aloud by young students, and they are perfect for that.

For anyone who wants to know what the daily life of the rich and poor in medieval times, this is the perfect book.  And the illustrations are a perfect fit!

A realistic look at medieval life, as seen through the eyes of young people of the time. | A book review from Newbery and Beyond
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Definitely check out Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!  It’s not sweet.  It’s realistic without being painful; it’s educational while still being fun.  And it’s great for kids with a dramatic side, since they can read it aloud, alone or in pairs.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I'm a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

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