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Fire, Bed, and Bone
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Fire, Bed, and Bone

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  197 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"Even readers with little knowledge of (or interest in) British feudal systems and peasant revolts may find themselves engrossed in this unique fictional tale set in 1381 and told from a hunting dog's point of view." — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

A Smarties Book Prize Bronze Award Winner


A KLIATT Editors' Choice

"Branford's subtle,
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Candlewick Press (first published November 3rd 1997)
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May 16, 2016 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Thanks Soairse for recommending this book.

Summary: in 1381 England a hunting dog recounts what happens to her beloved master Rufus and his family when they are arrested on suspicion of being part of the peasants rebellion lead by Wat Tyler and the preacher John Ball.

Although slanted for the young adult audience any animal loving, adult fan of historical fiction should find this book enjoyable to read as it was an excellent refresher course on these particular historical events as well.

The autho
Dec 03, 2015 Nick rated it it was amazing
This book is about a dog side of the story being held captive by people while his owners are prisoners.
And a rebellion is cooking up faster than a soufflé.
Don’t forget the rumor of a disease.
Will it turn out happily after like every fairy tale about a medieval world?
Or will it be a sad disgusting end of a medieval massacre?
What I like about this book is how it is from a dogs point of view.
What I learned from this book is the thing that keeps you going is family and love.
Katy Noyes
Jan 15, 2016 Katy Noyes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another book I've discovered recently on a 'must read' children's classic list. I can see why.

It has the unusual twist of being narrated by a dog, but in a realistic historical context (which I've not seen before) - the time of Wat Tyler and the Peasants' Revolt.

What a fascinating time to set a story in, narrated by a dog who is loyal to a family charged with treason to the crown.

I liked how Branford made our protagonist aware of human speech and interactions, not to the point of too omniscient
Cynthia  Scott
Jun 03, 2016 Cynthia Scott rated it liked it
A very interesting, short book about the conditions of life at the time peasant's uprising in 1381 in England. But it is told from the point of view of a few dogs which live very different lives from our cosseted canines today.
Aug 30, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it

My friend,Kathy Bruce, sent me the above link. I am always looking for kids' books that are not what everyone else is reading and not what is in the bookstores now. This book written by English author Herietta Branford was first published in the United States in 1998. It won the guardian's prize for fiction and was short listed for the Carnegie.

The book is told from the point of view of a bitch during England's Peasant's Revolt in 1381. The story opens ar
Jul 20, 2014 Shirley rated it it was amazing
This is and excellent piece of historical fiction with the added perspective of a dog. The story is harsh but should appeal to a young audience.

Survival from a dog's perspective
"I caught one, (a rabbit) snapped its neck, and felt its warm flesh and blood bringing me life and strength." (p. 23)

Cruelty from one man's perpective
". . . Lupus's heavy leather belt struck me a blow across the ribs that knocked my breath away and stopped me thinking clearly. In the split second of my muddle he dropped a
Jul 01, 2015 BiblioBickie rated it liked it
Historical fiction during the time of the English Peasant Rebellion in 1381 told through the eyes of a loyal hunting dog. The first chapter (3 pages) could make the book a tough sell. This is a book that requires some patience; however, there is plenty of action: hunting, hanging, parading heads on pikes through town, domestic abuse. While none of the violence is gratuitous, it is definitely there. A traitorous character gets his comeuppance at the end but not until a beloved character meets a g ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Eija rated it really liked it
Great historical fiction. Liked that the story was told from the perspective of the dog. More of a middle grade book because the serf / peasant uprising was brutal and that stays true throughout this little gem of a book.

I found this in the juvenile section and was kind of surprised because of the use of the word bitch. I feel weird even bringing it up. BUT! Bitch isn't used as a derogatory term or as a swear word but used to identify a female dog. So. That was interesting to think about.

Is bit
Mike Steven
I picked this book up at work and it looked like it had never been read so I thought I'd take it home. I'm interested in the period of history in which it is set so I figured it could provide an entertaining couple of hours. It did.

It's a children's book written in the first person from the perspective of a dog belonging to a villager in 1381 during civil unrest and the uprising of the peasants. The dog spends her time with a kind of split loyalty between her owner, her puppies and her desire to
Shazza Maddog
Sep 26, 2011 Shazza Maddog rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zoe Obstkuchen
Feb 14, 2015 Zoe Obstkuchen rated it it was amazing
Oh how I love this book! I should imagine if I had read it as a child I would have loved it even more, but I've only read this delightful tale as an adult. It is a simple story from an important time in English history, and gives a very believable representation of what it may have been like for the common man. One of those books I have thought much about between readings
Natalie  (♥Glamor Girl♥)
Feb 27, 2012 Natalie (♥Glamor Girl♥) rated it did not like it
This book was okay I rated it 2 out of 5 stars because it wasn't the best book ive ever read, so I didn't choose this book to read, I had a chose this was a okay book on my list. It was about Rufus and Comfort they are husband and wife, they get captured by soldiers because they are believed to be assisting the peasant of revolt. The soldiers captured Rufus and hung him on a rope, so he suffered and died. Meanwhile, there is this guy named Will Cudweed he is the only bad guy in the story. He is ...more
I read this to my 8-year-old to complement our Middle Ages history lesson about the feudal system. The story is set in 1381 during the Peasant's Revolt in England and is told from the perspective of a peasant family's hunting dog. It was a quick read. My son enjoyed it more than me. He gives it 4 1/2 stars. :-)
Beautiful Survivor
Nov 13, 2010 Beautiful Survivor rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves dogs.
I checked this book out in the library simply for the fact that I'm a big animal lover. I also love the meadevil time period so this book interested me.
And this book had me HOOKED! The dog who narrated this book was a perfect character in my opinion and the feel was realistic. I felt angry and sad and happy as I read through the emotions in the book.
I reccomend this book a lot.
I wondered about this book and thought about the animals and people in the time period really seriously. We always kn
Sep 05, 2011 CynthiaA rated it really liked it
This was lent to me by a good friend who is, like me, a literacy coach at her school. She insisted I must read it. I'm so glad she did. This simple (but not simplistic) story is told from the dog's point of view, yet it is historical fiction from 14th century England. It is written for a youth audience, so it doesn't delve into the 'why's' of history, only the what-was-happening info about "serfs" and how their work wasn't paid or valued. Still, its the dog's relationship with his owner that for ...more
Jun 12, 2015 J.T. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals-fiction
Fire, Bed, and Bone is set in 1381, during the Peasants' Revolt in England. The narrator is an old hunting dog (nameless) accustomed to a life of good care from her poor owners. The dog spends her time with split loyalty between her owner, her son Fleabane and her desire to hunt and be wild. She tells the reader not only about the impact of the unrest on the people but on their animals too. The book manages to be packed with factual information without being preachy. Highly recommended.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Who would have thought that a children's book about a dog living in England in 1381 would have such a realistic feel? The dog experiences losing her master and mistress, captured and imprisoned by men who don't like the peasants revolting. The dog experiences losing her puppies. The dog experiences the difficulties of trying to find food in lean times. An unexpectedly stark look at life during these times. So stark that I would caution parents of sensitive children.

This book was like none I've ever read. It is told from a dog's point of view, and surprisingly it was SO realistic. It's such a good book, and keeps you interested all the way until the very end. This would be a great book to use with older students when discussing things that have happened in Englad.
Mar 18, 2010 Claire rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Middle school
Medieval tale, set in 1381- told from the point of view of a dog who travels from household to household sharing with us the drama of the families he stays with.
Nov 03, 2009 Sylvia rated it it was amazing
Life in the middle ages during a peasant uprising in England. Everything is seen through the eyes of a nameless dog. Very good story!
Apr 08, 2013 Ashlynn rated it liked it
This book was kind of hard to get through. I didn't really understand it. I think that I just will have to read it again.
Christina Packard
A story told by a dog. The time is 1381 and during the feudal peasant revolts. Very interesting.
Feb 07, 2015 Leanne rated it really liked it
Great look into the peasant uprising during the Middle Ages told from the view point of a dog.
Jun 27, 2010 Ralph marked it as to-read
Loris heard about this at a discussion of dog books, said it's one of the best.
Apr 21, 2009 Kaethe rated it it was amazing
YA excellent writing! 1381 seen and smelled through a dog's perspective!
Aug 13, 2011 Roxanne rated it liked it
A dog tells the story of life in Feudal times.
Valerie Kellogg
Valerie Kellogg marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2016
Michael Hadley
Michael Hadley rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2016
Leena-Maaretta Dixon
Leena-Maaretta Dixon marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2016
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Henrietta Branford was a gifted novelist for young people. During her short career she won the Smarties Prize in 1994 for Dimanche Diller (Harper Collins) and the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1998 for Fire, Bed and Bone (Walker Books); she was twice shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, in 1994 and 1997. Her progress and development as a writer was watched with interest by publishers, critics a ...more
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