The Midwife's Apprentice

The Midwife s Apprentice 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 a

  • Title: The Midwife's Apprentice
  • Author: Karen Cushman Trina Schart Hyman
  • ISBN: 9780395692295
  • Page: 281
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 somethinFrom 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 A Newbery Medal book.

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      Posted by:Karen Cushman Trina Schart Hyman
      Published :2018-09-25T17:11:31+00:00

    1 thought on “The Midwife's Apprentice”

    1. I read Catherine Called Birdy, a Newbery Honor Book, about ten years ago, and while it was interesting it wasn’t quite captivating enough for me to want to read anything else by Karen Cushman. Still, when The Midwife’s Apprentice showed up on Paperback Swap, I figured I’d give it a try.A Newbery Medal book, The Midwife’s Apprentice tells the story of a girl with no home, no parents, and no name. One frosty night, she find warmth sleeping in a dung heap. The next morning, Jane Sharp, the [...]

    2. The midwife finds Brat asleep in a dung heap. She says she will work for food, so the midwife takes her on, having her do the housekeeping and herb-gathering and renames Brat, Beetle. Beetle is not allowed to assist when the midwife delivers a baby, but she watches from the windows and learns the midwife’s skills.One day, she gets to go to the fair to buy things for the midwife. There, she decides that she needs a real name, a proper name, and starts calling herself Alyce. One day, in the midd [...]

    3. I really liked Karen Cushman's books as a kid, and I think one of the big reasons for this (aside from the fact that, although two of her books take place in the Middle Ages, neither protagonist is a princess! *gasp*), is that she never sugar-coats the history. Take The Midwife's Apprentice, which is about a homeless, nameless orphan girl who gets a job asess. No, go on, guess.Delivering babies in the Middle Ages was not only life-threatening and painful, it was gross. I remember reading this as [...]

    4. A lot of historical research must have gone into this book, very well done. I'm amazed at both how much and how little people of this era new about pregnancy and childbirth. While the cover of this book seems to be geared toward children, I would NOT hand this over to a child who does not already know about childbirth and pregnancy in detail. Even then, it would be wise to go over the book when they're done so they don't end up with bizarre and inaccurate ideas about having babies. Cushman is ac [...]

    5. There will always be a part of me that wishes I was a midwife, so I totally loved this book. The kids did, too, although I am not sure any one of them aspires to midwifery.The midwife herself is a bully, but Karen Cushman provided just enough detail about her so that the kids and I could not completely despise her. For example, the midwife herself gave birth numerous times, but her babies all died. The midwife also, in spite of being coarse and arrogant, is wise, and she mentions as-a-matter-of- [...]

    6. There are few books that I come across, pick up, and just check out of the library on mere whim. There are even fewer books that I start over the minute I finish them.The Midwife's Apprentice is one of these precious few. It has no plot twits, mysteries, sexy vampires, gothic mansions, or pomp or circumstance. Its just a simple coming of age story about one of the sweetest, quietest, and purest characters to ever touch your soul. Its a short simple story, but its simplicity makes it so strong an [...]

    7. Saw this book listed on the audio list for the public library. Not necessarily a child's book, but closer to a young teen. Or for an old lady like me!Enjoying it as MY cat is curled up beside me. Interesting perspective of a homeless, poor girl who has never known her roots. She usually goes hungry. Sleeps burrowed into the warmth of a dung heap (if lucky to find one). At this point in the story (Chapter 7) her struggles are continuing, but she has been given some hope-chores for the mid-wife in [...]

    8. Summary:Orphaned since as long as she can remember, Beetle becomes employed by the cold village midwife. And while her payment is meager, Beetle eventually gains confidence in herself and her abilities through her work.Strengths:While it uses the language of the time, the book is surprisingly accessible -- no doubt helped by its short length (my edition was barely over 100 pages). Despite being from a different era, Beetle's plight still can be relatable; she's someone who has believed all the n [...]

    9. 3 saoBản dịch tiếng việt khá cứng và gượng. Nội dung truyện có phần nhạy cảm, công nhận không ngờ có sách thiếu nhi viết về nghề bà mụ luôn :p. Không biết là từ truyện gốc hay do bản dịch mà mình thấy nhân vật chính khá là ngu đần, tính cách cũng không hay cho lắm. Thông điệp của truyện thì khá rõ, đơn giản, dễ hiểu nhưng mình sẽ hơi ngần ngại để giới thiệu [...]

    10. I would have given this book a 3.5 star rating if there was one. I felt this had a slow plot to it, but I found that I liked it more as I read on. However, just when I really started to like it, it ended. The ending was not bad, but it definitely just left you there like, "What." Since it was only 117 pages or so, I think this is why. Otherwise it was not bad.

    11. Set in medieval days, an orphan girl is taken in by a midwife. She is treated as a common slave; given numerous tasks to do daily for meager bits of food. She has no proper name until one day while running errands is mistaken for someone named Alyce. Not Alyce herself, but the name stuck. Slowly she gains confidence, but one day when left to attend one mother while Jane, the midwife, cares for another, Aylce feels helpless. She doesn’t know what to do the baby won’t come. When Jane returns s [...]

    12. This was a great, quick historical read. It was packed with so much information and details. It was very real and gritty, it wasn't the glamorous side of the middle ages that we usually read about, the stories about the kings and queens and the princesses and princes. This was about the peasants and their lives.The characters were good. Alys grows a lot through out the book. I love how her name changes with each stage of her life. I thought that was a really nice touch. Though the book doesn't f [...]

    13. I picked this up because I was fascinated to read about how midwifery was handled for a juvenile audience. You know how people freak out about kids knowing where babies come from? It was interesting from that perspective, but I ended up really enjoying the book. The protagonist is a homeless, nameless ragamuffin who gets taken in by a village midwife and learns a bit about the work of bringing babies into the world. The confidence that comes from having a place in the world starts to change the [...]

    14. Excellent historical fiction for preteens! Cushman portrays the life of a homeless orphan in medieval England -- a girl so bereft of all background that she doesn't even have a name -- and how she slowly carves out an identity for herself by keeping her eyes and ears open, and by working hard at challenging assignments.

    15. The book is alright to read. So the book is about a girl that is a midwife apprentice and she doesn’t know her name and she tries to figure it out with a loveable cat she meets. The best part of the book so far is when she figures out her name. I would say that it’s for 12 and up for the age.

    16. This short fairy tale like story is just the right mix of bitter and sweet. I read it slowly because it is a short book and I didn't want it to end.

    17. Basic Plot: A homeless girl in medieval England finds her place in the world and her purpose.The situation of the poor girl at the beginning of the book about tore my heart out. Homeless children are a particularly hard thing for a parent to bear. This story was simple, but the meaning of it is what is really important. Alyce (the name she chooses for herself, as she had none at the beginning) really has nothing, not even pride, at the beginning of the story. She is abused by everyone around her [...]

    18. I think that The Midwife’s Apprentice would be a book that would be difficult to teach in a middle grades setting. The book covers how children are born and has some rather crude scenes. That being said I think to teach the book would depend on the area. An area that I wouldn’t touch this book would be here in Georgia. In the middle of the Bible belt does not seem like the place to study a book that involves a woman yelling into another women’s vagina at a baby to come out. Considering how [...]

    19. A young girl, on her own, finds the warmest spot to sleep in. One night she discovers the warmth of a dung heap and never leaves. She is discovered one day by Jane, the village midwife. Jane names her Beetle and takes her home to become an apprentice midwife. The girl hears the name Alyce one day and decides that she loves the name. And so she becomes Alyce. The midwife treats Alyce appallingly, but having nowhere to go, Alyce remains.One night Alyce assists in a birth while the midwife assists [...]

    20. The story opens with a young girl with no name, no family, burying herself in a dung heap for warmth. The girl is taken in by a midwife, Jane, who dubs her Beetle for her choice of sleeping quarters. Jane’s decision to take Beetle in is not due to benevolence, however, but greed; Jane sees that Beetle is a hard worker who will lighten her load. Jane gives Beetle all the difficult work of her profession, but she is careful to keep Beetle away from observing Jane during delivery, fearing Beetle [...]

    21. This is more of a 3,5 because the ending changed my mind. The story itself is very realistic and somewhat still predictable except for the ending. Jane, the midwife, finds a little girl in a pile of fecal matter. The girl has no family, no friends and she doesn't know her own name. She convinces Jane to let her stay in exchange for her labor. She also befriends a cat. Beetle, this is how the villagers call her, is hard-working and very grateful for all she has. Although the villagers treat her p [...]

    22. How do you know when a piece of historical fiction is written really, really well? When the thought of living during that time makes you run for the shower! Karen Cushman has a gift for portraying time periods accurately, and the setting for The Midwife's Apprentice is no exception. Beetle, our protagonist, is first described as sleeping in a dung pile, but is soon discovered by Jane, the curmudgeonly midwife who sets her to work as her apprentice. As Beetle becomes more knowlegeable about her t [...]

    23. Wow, this book was amazing. I wasn't sure what to expect since it wasn't written for adults (I thought), but the vibrant writing and descriptions made it awesome. Also, the author pulled no punches in terms of making the apprentice's experiences glossy and neat - no they were real and sometimes a little scary. I would love to read another book by this author. I especially enjoyed the extra bit at the end where Cushman discusses the herbs used in medieval midwifery and how they were sometimes eff [...]

    24. Great little book about a girl who literally comes from a dung heap and finds her place in the world as a midwife's apprentice. This one is now on the summer book shelf for my 10 year old daughter. Other reviews have stated that it has graphic birth imagery that makes it unsuitable for younger readers. I can only imagine those comments came from people who have never actually witnessed birth of any kind. My daughter has been exposed to more graphic images in her real life while watching a robin' [...]

    25. This is a realistic medieval fiction for young readers 12+ and a well-deserved Newberry Medal winner. This tale follows the trials and tribulations of a young girl (Beetle, named because as homeless she uses the dung for heat.) in early medieval times. She finds herself apprenticed to the local midwife, knowledge and wisdom alone, and finds her place in the world.Cushman has researched the subject well. We learn about village life, medicine, feudal structure, and the place of women in that socie [...]

    26. Beetle is a young girl who has nothing. Except the smarts to hide in a dung pile in order to stay warm. And the wherewithal to accept whatever chores, abuse, and food are thrown her way by the village midwife.But then Beetle begins to learn.About Cat. Whom she rescues from a rather ill fate.And Will. Whom she rescues from the same fate.And soap.Ah, the world is full of miracles. Even for a midwife’s apprentice.A quick feeling story about a girl with everything stacked against her. I zipped thr [...]

    27. If there was ever a book that served as the picture in Webster's Dictionary alongside "Newbery Medal", this is it. Well, yes, there are lots more Newbery books that are supremely superior to this one, but all my favorites don't tend to be typical Newbery fodder. This one is (probably not a top 10 favorite, probably in the mid to upper 20s), and I'm not saying that's a bad thing. The writing was simple yet adequate, the quiet transformation wasn't too drastic and implausible, and the details on M [...]

    28. This was an easy read, but other than that I didn't find much worthwhile in it. Alyce was not a particularly strong protagonist and sees transformation/development only at the very end. This book was lacking transitions between chapters and felt disjointed. I couldn't help but be appalled by the acceptance of weird voodoo as medicine, even though it was accepted at the time. I also found the topic of child-birth a bit strange for this age group because nothing can really be described in detail w [...]

    29. I already read this a long time ago, but I stumbled upon it again (here in ) and was wondering how this story went.And man, nostalgia ;u;But other than nostalgia, I can now see how much Alyce grew throughout the story, and it was great! She started out as someone who knew nothing but the darkness in life -- only curse words, no songs, no knowledge. In the end, she became someone who knows how to read, how to be kind to others, how to sing, and how to be a person. She really blossomed into a fine [...]

    30. This is about a homeless girl and a cat during the middle ages.She works for any one who will give her shelter. She ends up with abad tempered midwife. The author wants to show children what it was likefor children in the middle ages. The adults in this book are calling thechild bad names and there is also some cruelty in this book. Even though it issimply written I think it should be read with an adult to explain to the childthat we no longer treat anyone this way.As for me, I prefer Catherine [...]

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