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Matilda Bone (2000)

by Karen Cushman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8641317,762 (3.57)26
Fourteen-year-old Matilda, an apprentice bonesetter and practitioner of medicine in a village in medieval England, tries to reconcile the various aspects of her life, both spiritual and practical.



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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Interesting but not enjoyable. I disliked Matilda at the beginning for being so limp and priggish - then I began to seriously dislike Father L for messing her up so badly. What did he have in mind, or did he even think about her future? Happy ending (or at least hopeful), eventually, but it was a real slog getting there. The stuff about medieval medicine was interesting - mostly I knew it, but as dry facts. Having characters live it made it much richer. Glad I read it, I might read more by her, but I don't think I'll ever want to reread this. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | May 25, 2020 |
Matilda grew up in a manor house, where the only work expected of her was to assist Father Leufredus, the priest, in his studies. She knows Latin and some Greek, the names and stories of hundreds of saints, and how to be meek and obedient. None of this helps her much when Father Leufredus is called to London, and apprentices Matilda to a bone setter named Red Peg in a town halfway between London and Oxford. Peg is full of good humor and common sense, but all Matilda can see is how different she is from the priest and his teachings. Can Matilda look beyond her preconceptions and find a place in her new life?

I typically like Cushman’s historical fiction, but Matilda is a difficult character to love. She does soften up a bit by the end, but reading about her self-imposed misery for most of the book is not a lot of fun. And, while I liked some of the secondary characters, I had trouble keeping them straight. Recommended only to those who can’t get enough of Cushman’s writing. ( )
  foggidawn | Sep 16, 2018 |
Juvenile fiction highlighting 14 yr old bonesetter's apprentice Matilda Bone.
Medieval medicine is highlighted, featuring elements such as bloodletting, bonesetting, foul smelling medical cures and frightening surgeries of the time
  pennsylady | Jan 29, 2016 |
a wonderful book introducing the middle ages to children but, really, to anyone. Cushman does a good job of animating the everyday life of a person in medieval England and has truly done her research on just about every aspect of medieval life but focused on medicine and religion.

surprisingly, this book teaches critical thinking and confronts overly pious and zealous attitudes with enthusiasm. Matilda Bone was raised in a minor noble's manor by a priest who is delivered to a bonesetter named Peg who lives on Blood and Bone Alley in a small village. at first, she is disdainful to the extreme of all the lower class people who work for a living thinking that prayers to saints and deference paid to haughty personages like Master Theobald, the local physician who really knows nothing, is the only proper way to live your life and solve problems. she eventully comes round to see that knowledge and work like Peg and the other villagers do is not unworthy and that her mentor, Father Leufedus, was not the font of infallible information.

a great book for kids to learn about the middle ages, living life humbly and gratefully, class prejudice, and thinking for yourself. ( )
  keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
I liked this, though I found it fairly heavy-handed. Young Matilda has been raised by a priest to be humble but learned in Latin, to be obedient and not to question, to be a priggish pain in the tush, in other words. She's suddenly sent to live with Red Peg the Bonesetter, and oh, how Matilda hates this new life where Latin isn't important, and God is about love instead of punishment, and where the unschooled and the ignorant help people in distress. Heavy-handed, but sweet and well-researched and worth reading. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Cushmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hyman, Trina SchartCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ibatoulline, BagramCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to the memory of my fathers, Arthur Lipski and Alvin Cushman, and of Dorothy Briley.
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Matilda stood before the scarred wooden door and stared at the bright-yellow bone painted there.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fourteen-year-old Matilda, an apprentice bonesetter and practitioner of medicine in a village in medieval England, tries to reconcile the various aspects of her life, both spiritual and practical.

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In medieval England an orphan girl, abandoned by the priest who raised her, becomes a bonesetter's apprentice and learns much about the practice of medicine and about living and loving.
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