Includes bibliographical references (page 82-85).;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. 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.
From the Publisher
Step back to an English village in 1255, where life plays out in dramatic vignettes illuminating twenty-two unforgettable characters. Winner of the Newbery Medal.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.
July 24, 2007
x, 85 pages : color illustrations, color map, music ; 27 cm
Byrd, Robert, illustrator.
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Reviews & Awards
- ALA Notable Children's Books, 2008
- Book Links, 01/01/10
- Book Links starred, 01/01/08
- Booklist starred, 08/01/07
- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books starred, 09/01/07
- Horn Book Magazine starred, 04/01/08
- Kirkus Reviews starred, 07/15/07
- Newbery Medal, 2008
- School Library Journal starred, 08/01/07
- Wilson's Children, 10/01/10
- Wilson's Junior High School, 01/09/10
Booklist starred (August 2007 (Vol. 103, No. 22))
Grades 5-8. The author of A Drowned Maiden’s Hair: A Melodrama (2006), Schlitz turns to a completely different kind of storytelling here. Using a series of interconnected monologues and dialogues featuring young people living in and around an English manor in 1255, she offers first-person character sketches that build upon each other to create a finer understanding of medieval life. The book was inspired by the necessity of creating a play suitable for a classroom where “no one wanted a small part.” Each of the 23 characters (between 10 and 15 years old) has a distinct personality and a societal role revealed not by recitation of facts but by revelation of memories, intentions, and attitudes. Sometimes in prose and more often in one of several verse forms, the writing varies nicely from one entry to the next. Historical notes appear in the vertical margins, and some double-page spreads carry short essays on topics related to individual narratives, such as falconry, the Crusades, and Jews in medieval society. Although often the characters’ specific concerns are very much of their time, their outlooks and emotional states will be familiar to young people today. Reminiscent of medieval art, Byrd’s lively ink drawings, tinted with watercolors, are a handsome addition to this well-designed book. This unusually fine collection of related monologues and dialogues promises to be a rewarding choice for performance or for reading aloud in the classroom.
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