Friday, February 26, 2021

Review: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz,

Step back to an English village in 1255, where life plays out in dramatic vignettes illuminating twenty-two unforgettable characters.

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.

Hardcover, 96 pages
Published July 24th 2007
by Candlewick
3/5 stars

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! is the 2008 John Newbery Medal Winner.  I am not totally sure what the criteria is to win this honour but Good Masters is a different format to other medal winners that I have read. 

Told is a series of plays/skits geared for a younger audience its pretty much a history lesson with different members of society from different classes.  It's educational, told in verse mostly and illustrated nicely. It was a fun read, I even learned a few things about medieval England. It was well researched and would make a nice addition to class rooms.

My copy was from my bookshelf and not just part of my 2021 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge
 but also reading the John Newbery Medal Winners.

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