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Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village (2007)

by Laura Amy Schlitz

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,3348410,116 (3.98)49
A collection of short one-person plays featuring characters, between ten and fifteen years old, who live in or near a thirteenth-century English manor.
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» See also 49 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
I loved using this book as part of sixth grade Social Studies curriculum. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
This collection of monologues (and a couple of dialogues) introduces readers to medieval life, from the son of a knight, to the daughter of a villein who tends his hounds. It's a fantastic educational tool, meant to be used in a classroom setting. I can see why it won the Newbery when it first came out -- the writing is terrific, and the last line of the last monologue is just perfection. I'd love to direct a group of children presenting this. Recommended to those who have an interest in the medieval, particularly if they enjoy books like The Inquisitor's Tale or The Midwife's Apprentice. ( )
  foggidawn | Apr 30, 2020 |
This upper-elementary to middle-grade book, a mix of poetry and prose, is in the vein of "Canterbury Tales." I can't picture one kid out of a thousand picking this up on their own to read for pleasure. If the intended audience reads it at all, it will be because a teacher assigned it.
A variety of children from a medieval village each tell a brief tale. A few tales are related, but most are solitary. There are a handful of sections between tales that provide some historical background for the story preceding it.
I found it historically interesting, but the tales were not all equally gripping. ( )
  fingerpost | Jan 25, 2020 |
library copy ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
This book is a collection of twenty two poems that are interconnected to describe a medieval town. There are multiple stories happening at once for example: Barbary takes takes her twin brothers to the store. One of the twins has a tantrum and tosses one of the fish in the dirt. Barbary has to navigate through the mud to get it. She sees the high class daughter and questions why can't they be equal. This results in Barbary tossing mud at the beautiful woman and gets so called "revenge". The other stories cover themes such as death, murder, animal birth, cheating, greed, stealing and racism. This book is great for any student who wants multiple story lines in one book. The stories show a great variety of short stories for the 9-12 year old age. ( )
  John_Spelce | Oct 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
Schlitz (The Hero Schliemann) wrote these 22 brief monologues to be performed by students at the school where she is a librarian; here, bolstered by lively asides and unobtrusive notes, and illuminated by Byrd's (Leonard, Beautiful Dreamer) stunningly atmospheric watercolors, they bring to life a prototypical English village in 1255. Adopting both prose and verse, the speakers, all young, range from the half-wit to the lord's daughter, who explains her privileged status as the will of God. The doctor's son shows off his skills ("Ordinary sores/ Will heal with comfrey, or the white of an egg,/ An eel skin takes the cramping from a leg"); a runaway villein (whose life belongs to the lord of his manor) hopes for freedom after a year and a day in the village, if only he can calculate the passage of time; an eel-catcher describes her rough infancy: her "starving poor [father] took me up to drown in a bucket of water." (He relents at the sight of her "wee fingers" grasping at the sides of the bucket.) Byrd, basing his work on a 13th-century German manuscript, supplies the first page of each speaker's text with a tone-on-tone patterned border overset with a square miniature. Larger watercolors, some with more intricate borders, accompany explanatory text for added verve. The artist does not channel a medieval style; rather, he mutes his palette and angles some lines to hint at the period, but his use of cross-hatching and his mostly realistic renderings specifically welcome a contemporary readership. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)
Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
added by sriches | editPublishers Weekly, Reed Business Information
 
Good Readers! Sweet Librarians! This delightfully unusual collection of monologues, dialogues, and poems presents the voices of various inhabitants of an English village in 1255—but this description does not begin to convey the life, humor, empathy, and drama that imbue every page. Not so slowly, but oh so surely (and slyly), the characters—Thomas, the doctor's son; Mogg, the villein's daughter; Lowdy, the varlet's child; Nelly, the sniggler; and eighteen more—mesmerize the reader with their stories and observations. Even Schlitz's marginal notes, in which she explains unfamiliar words and imparts fascinating tidbits, are written with panache. (A varlet, by the way, means scoundrel today, but was a word used for a man who looked after animals in the Middle Ages; a sniggler is a person who fished for eels by dangling bait in their riverbank holes.) Schlitz packs more plot in these interconnected vignettes than can be found in many novels. Sometimes she does it with rhyme that is sophisticated yet accessible (Thomas the doctor's son begins, "My father is the noble lord's physician/And I am bound to carry on tradition"). Sometimes she does it in prose (Nelly the sniggler describes eels as "Fresher than the day they were born—and fat as priests"). She presents, in tandem, the musings of Jacob ben Salomon, the moneylender's son, and Petronella, the merchant's daughter, as they breach the divide between Jews and Christians by skipping stones with each other across a stream. The vignettes are supplemented by several two-page sidebars on issues such as Jews in medieval society, falconry, medieval pilgrims, and more. Byrd's colorful pen-and-ink drawingsreflect the style of a thirteenth-century illuminated manuscript, greatly enhancing the reader's experience of this remarkable book.
added by sriches | editChildren's Literature
 
Schlitz takes the breath away with unabashed excellence in every direction. This wonderfully designed and produced volume contains 17 monologues for readers ten to 15, each in the voice of a character from an English town in 1255. Some are in verse; some in prose; all are interconnected. The language is rich, sinewy, romantic and plainspoken. Readers will immediately cotton to Taggot, the blacksmith's daughter, who is big and strong and plain, and is undone by the sprig of hawthorn a lord's nephew leaves on her anvil. Isobel the lord's daughter doesn't understand why the peasants throw mud at her silks, but readers will: Barbary, exhausted from caring for the baby twins with her stepmother who is pregnant again, flings the muck in frustration. Two sisters speak in tandem, as do a Jew and a Christian, who marvel in parallel at their joy in skipping stones on water. Double-page spreads called "A little background" offer lively information about falconry, The Crusades, pilgrimages and the like. Byrd's watercolor-and-ink pictures add lovely texture and evoke medieval illustration without aping it. Brilliant in every way. (foreword, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-15)
added by sriches | editKirkus Reviews
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Amy Schlitzprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moore, ChristinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Hugo: The Lord's Nephew: The feast of All Souls, I ran from my tutor—Latin and grammar—no wonder!
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A collection of short one-person plays featuring characters, between ten and fifteen years old, who live in or near a thirteenth-century English manor.

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Book description
A medieval village is more than just lords and ladies.

Hugo, the Lord's nephew -- Taggot, the blacksmith's daughter -- Will, the plowboy -- Alice, the shepherdess -- Thomas, the doctor's son -- Constance, the pilgrim -- Mogg, the villein's daughter -- Otho, the miller's son -- Jack, the half-wit -- Simon, the knight's son -- Edgar, the falconer's son -- Isobel, the lord's daughter -- Barbary, the mud slinger -- Jacob Ben Salomon, the moneylender's son and Petronella, the merchant's daughter -- Lowdy, the varlet's child -- Pask, the runaway -- Piers, the glassblower's apprentice -- Mariot and Maud, the glassblower's daughters -- Nelly, the sniggler -- Drogo, the tanner's apprentice -- Giles, the beggar.
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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763615781, 0763643327

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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